Before the current economic downturn some professionals were considered to be generally safer in their jobs then others were. Their jobs were seen as essential services to the surrounding community. The vast majority of them were employed by the government, which is traditionally a more stable employer than private employers who generally get rid of workers in order to service their bottom lines and keep the shareholders happy. In addition the majority of workers in these fields have strong unions to protect them from the whims that can sometimes govern the areas of job loss. One of those areas is public education, as teachers are generally considered to have stable careers, once they make it past the handful of years that it takes to gain tenure.
Today we are going to look at the case of the Clark County School District. 400 of the workers who are currently employed by the Clark County School District will be getting layoff notices in the very near future. The job cuts, which will all go to member of the staff who hold a license currently. These cuts are part of a district wide plan to eliminate about 1,000 jobs on the whole. The rest of the losses will be achieved not by laying off staff, but by not filling in open positions and by leaving positions open as a number of teachers choose to retire for the upcoming school year.
The school is doing all of this to shore up a serious hole in the budget. The school is facing a deficit of about $59 million for the coming school year. Part of that has come from a recent ruling that prevented the school from stopping payment on the raises that had been promised to the teachers.
In a statement about the job losses the school said the following, “”We remain firm in our position that keeping teachers in classrooms is what’s best for our students and community,” said Superintendent Dwight D. Jones. “We continue to approach negotiations with the hope of securing a contract that allows the District to live within our means while keeping teachers in the classroom and employed.” While the District continues negotiations that seek concessions to balance its budget, principals are being asked to plan for the current reality. Instructions went to each principal this morning informing them of the notices and identifying which teachers in their buildings have been identified for layoffs. Under the contract rules, teachers with five-day suspensions and the lowest seniority will be the first to be let go. “
These layoffs are more than enough to qualify as a mass layoff action. For those of you who are not familiar with the idea of a mass layoff action here is a look at how the federal government defines the term, “Monthly mass layoff numbers are from establishments which have at least 50 initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) filed against them during a 5-week period. Extended mass layoff numbers (issued quarterly) are from a subset of such establishments—where private sector nonfarm employers indicate that 50 or more workers were separated from their jobs for at least 31 days.” So even if the school manages to negate some of the job losses, they will still qualify, which gives the workers some extra time to prepare for the job losses.Clark County School District to Cut 400 Jobs by Harrison Barnes