The Pine Bush Central School District Board of Education furloughed 12 school security aides at their meeting last Tuesday.
These employees work in the district’s secondary schools to help monitor student conduct. They were furloughed effective Sept. 8.
“Without kids in the building those people aren’t needed,” said Superintendent of Schools Tim Mains.
Furthermore, 200 teaching assistants and school monitors have received 30 days notice of their possible layoffs. Their layoffs would be effective on Oct. 9. The security staff members were furloughed effective Sept. 8, as they do not have the 30 day notice in their contract.
“In the contract for that unit, it is required that they receive 30 days notice,” Mains said. “So we don’t think we’ll know exactly who needs to be laid off until close to the end of this month.”
At last Tuesday’s meeting, the board abolished 109 teaching assistant positions effective October 9. The positions range from 4 to 7 hours per day. Also abolished effective Oct. 9 were 85 school monitor positions, including one 8 hour positions and two one-hour-per-day positions. Most ranged from 6 to 7 hours per day.
Mains said the district will spend the next several weeks determining how many school monitors and teaching assistants they need, then, before the 30 days has expired, they will be able to more accurately inform those who will be able to keep their jobs and those that may need to be laid off. As more students are brought back into the district’s schools, those who have been laid off may be invited back to work, on a seniority basis (also as contractually required).
According to the superintendent, the reason for these layoffs and potential layoffs is due to the budget cuts the district is facing from the state. Security aides, teaching assistants and school monitors face job insecurity because their positions depend on students being in school.
“We’ve been told to expect all future aid payments for the foreseeable future to be provided to us with a 20 percent reduction,” Mains said.
Mains is hopeful that the teacher’s assistants and school monitors will be able to keep their jobs.
“All of these folks are part of our broad Pine Bush family, so we hope the majority will stay and that others will be able to be called back as we bring more and more children back into our schools,” he said. “In the meantime, we will continue to assess how we can identify and execute other cost savings, which will be needed until or unless the federal government comes up with a stimulus package that provides relief to New York, so that New York can provide us with the aid we were promised last spring.”