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Mike Nelson, who leads the classified employee union (WPEA), told the board his group would like to know what happens next.
“We are extremely concerned about the financial wellbeing of this institution and how it will impact classified folks in the next year,” he said. “We were shocked by the number of classified folks who were laid off and the positions that were laid off. It didn’t make sense to us from a union standpoint.”
Many of the employees were front-line, student-serving people, he said, with low salaries.
The cuts put a burden on those who are left, he said, and eventually will impact students.
“We didn’t really have extra people,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of fat here at WVC, so the people who do the work are going away and the workload will be distributed to other classified staff.”
He asked the board to be more proactive in reaching out to employees.
“There are a number of folks here who have been laid off. They are very upset about what has happened here because they think it could have been avoided,” he said. “I believe it could have been avoided, with proper management, proper fiscal responsibility and a good plan.”
So far, he said, they haven’t heard the plan.
“President Richardson has not been able to convey to us in a satisfactory manner his intentions to correct the problem. Time and again he has stated what the problem is — we don’t necessarily agree on that — but he has not been able to articulate how we are moving forward. That is something we look forward to hearing as soon as possible.”
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