PLATTSBURGH — At a special meeting Thursday night, the Clinton Community College Board of Trustees authorized the elimination of 10 employee positions in 2013-14.
Clinton Community College President John Jablonski told the Press-Republican that employees affected by the decision were notified throughout the day Friday.
Earlier this month, Jablonski announced the college was looking to the layoffs as a means of bridging an anticipated $600,000 gap in the budget for next academic year.
The cause of the deficit, Jablonski said at the time, was due primarily to a reduction of more than $800,000 in state aid over the past two years, about $225,000 of which was restored last spring, coupled with rising retirement and health insurance costs.
Employer contributions to retirement systems will be at 16 percent next year, he told the Press-Republican, and health insurance costs are predicted to rise 8 to 10 percent.
Before the board voted on the reductions, members of the college’s Faculty Association spoke out against the layoffs at the meeting.
June Foley, press officer and representative at large to the Executive Committee of the college’s Faculty Association, told the board the layoffs are “not the necessary response to unforeseeable events,” but rather “the result of a series of misjudgments over the course of the last four years.”
Foley, who is also a professor at the school, told the Press-Republican in a separate interview that Clinton Community has added 14 new positions, as well as filled several vacant positions, since 2008 despite decreasing student enrollment during that time.
“We should have known not to add positions,” she said.
Jablonski said there is no question that the college hired people during that time; however, “almost always it was done when there was an offsetting reduction.”
In some cases, positions were done away with to create new ones, he said, and in other cases multiple positions were combined into one.