GCC President Warns of Potential Layoffs in Certificate Programs

Cyndi Kline
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Glendale College President John Davitt announced the possibility of potential layoffs in the certificate programs at a faculty meeting Feb. 26 due to the current budget crunch.

According to Administrative Services President Larry Serot, the layoffs would affect classified staff members under CalWORKS, a welfare-to-work program and part of former President Bush’s and former Gov. Pete Wilson’s Welfare Reform Program.

The program, which helps educate about 1,200 students per year, is allotted almost $1.2 million a year in state funding. With the current budget cut, 15 positions from the program are expected to lose funding next year, according to Serot.

“CalWORKS is our biggest issue,” said Serot. “The budget deficit will have gone from $10 to $15 billion if the state sells energy bonds. We don’t know where we’re going.”

Gov. Gray Davis borrowed nearly $6 billion this year from the general fund in order to make up for last summer’s energy crisis, said Serot. Due to this, if the state is unable to sell the bonds in repayment, the colleges will suffer insufficient funding.

Davis recently signed a bill to increase worker’s compensation benefits, which places yet another burden on necessary college funding.

No final budget will be set until August, however college representatives are preparing for any outcome.
“We will work through it,” said Serot. “It’s a cycle. We will have several empty administrative positions next year. We hope to save money by temporarily consolidating jobs.”

Among other programs cut by the budget deficit, Serot mentioned the setbacks in staff development programs, which send faculty and staff to training events in their field.

In addition to the main issue of the budget deficit, the faculty meeting also addressed parking issues. Instructors are being asked to encourage students to use the Park and Ride to effectively lighten the traffic and parking problems on campus.

“By signing up, students get a free pass for the shuttle and reduced parking fares for the rest of the semester,” said Serot.

According to Serot, 45 students are currently signed up for the program.
The next faculty meeting is scheduled for Apr. 2 at 1 p.m.