Election Section

BUSD Rescinds Most Classified Layoffs

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 10:00:00 AM

Only a handful of employees remain on Berkeley Unified School District’s list of classified personnel who have active layoff notices due to the proposed education budget cuts, according to district officials. 

The list, which totaled 55 pink-slipped employees at one point, might be reduced to two in the next couple of weeks, Allen Levinson, the district’s director of classified personnel, told the Planet. 

Thirty-five employees have had their layoffs rescinded in full so far. One has resigned voluntarily, and four have accepted promotions or other positions with Berkeley Unified. 

Four others have accepted the reduced hours of the layoff and are not contesting.  

There are another five employees who will continue to work in another part-time position that they have maintained with the district. 

“We anticipate rescinding layoffs of three others in the next two weeks based on vacancies that have developed,” Levinson said. “It’s looking very good. It’s our hope that services won’t be adversely affected. We don’t have anything for two individuals, but we are hopeful we will have something by the end of the year.”  

The two classified employees are a PE teacher at Cragmont and a student employment specialist at the Berkeley Technology Academy. 

Tim Donnelly, president of the Berkeley Council of Classified Employees, did not return calls for comment. 

“It’s not a situation we like to find ourselves in,” board director Karen Hemphill said at recent board meeting. “We know we are affecting people’s lives, but we want to emphasize it’s because of the state’s budget cuts. These employees are part of programs which help our children.”