Four school employees will be laid off

Mammoth Unified School District board officials said Tuesday they laid off several district employees in an attempt to lessen an impending $800,000 or more anticipated budget deficit next year.

Four positions were cut from the “classified” (non-certificated) employees roster—a full-time custodian, a full-time bus driver/custodian, a part-time PE teacher and a part-time yard duty aide, district officials said.

These four people have been notified of the decision, triggering a 45-day stay, and will be laid off after that 45 days has passed, later this fall.

The layoffs will save the district about $165,000, Superintendent Rich Boccia said.

“We had hoped to manage our budget by attrition or other cost-cutting measures, but it has not been enough,” Boccia said. “That’s why we had to make this terribly hard decision to let valuable people go.”
Attrition, or losing employees through retirement, etc., has saved the district about $86,000, he said.

That, added to the $165,000, adds up to about $251,000, leaving the district still struggling to cut about $550,000—and that’s only if a tax measure proposed by Governor Jerry Brown passes this November.
If the tax measure does not pass, the deficit number will likely climb by approximately another $500,000, Boccia said.

He hopes to help make up some of this deficit negotiating with employee groups, along with using onetime reserves, but that process hit a snag this week when the district and the teachers union mutually agreed to an impasse.

The impasse will require the district and the teachers union to enter a formal mediation process, he said. Resolving their differences could take months.

“We’ve been lucky for years here,” he said. “We have had higher than average property taxes, but now, Mammoth is catching up to the rest of the state, and we are going to have to ask everyone to participate in a fair share of these reductions.”