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Op-Ed: GCC administrators are getting off easy

August 28, 2012|By Sarah Black

I am writing in response to the Aug. 24 article, “GCC slashes budget.” If 115 classified employees are permanently reduced, it will have a damaging effect on the lowest-paid Glendale Community College employees, but even worse, for the students.

If the board approves these cuts, these offices may be closed in January (illegal, according to our contract) and again in August 2013. It was reported that college Vice President Mary Mirch “quietly choked back tears” at the podium, but these tears seemed disingenuous to many.

Mirch proposed these cuts, citing a “lack-of-work issue” due to cutting winter session and offering one summer session instead of two. However, there has been a classified staff hiring freeze for years, many vacant positions remain unfilled, and we work hard during January and August.

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There is no rhyme or reason as to why certain departments would be reduced when others would potentially have the same supposed reduced workload. By cutting only certain classified employees' assignments, the administration pits us against each other, fracturing the California School Employees Assn. and its motto of “in unity.” Isn't this what the government is doing, dividing the lower-middle class in an attempt to deflect attention away from the abuse of power by those in charge?

Mirch stated that the reduction of these 115 classified employees will only save the college $250,000, a tiny percentage of the deficit. And administrator positions are not being reduced, even though a one-month reduction of their six-figure salaries would save the college much more money than making classified staff shoulder the brunt of the cuts.

Interim College President Jim Riggs responded to a question about why he is being paid significantly more than his predecessor with, “I'm not making what I'd like to be making either.” Imagine your boss responding this way after threatening your job stability. True, managers have agreed to a 5% cut. Meanwhile, the proposed one-month reduction equals an 8.33% cut. For many, that means deciding which utility bill not to pay.

The News-Press story quotes Vice President Ron Nakasone as saying cuts “are going to have to come out of paychecks.” Instead, he said cuts “are going to have come out of somebody's paychecks.” The “somebody” most affected would be classified staff and students, not upper management.

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