Employees of Reynolds School District voice concerns

9 people have already lost their jobs

Employees of the Reynolds School District speak out against the layoffs, July 12, 2017. (KOIN)
Employees of the Reynolds School District speak out against the layoffs, July 12, 2017. (KOIN)

FAIRVIEW, Ore. (KOIN) — The Reynolds School District recently announced layoffs and reduced hours for the upcoming school year, causing employees to voice their frustration Wednesday.

Nine people have already lost their jobs with the school district, 7 of whom are full-time employees and there could be more cuts.

Dozens of employees made a plea to their school board to re-evaluate.

Speaking to the board Wednesday, Cheryl Rickerd, assistant secretary, said, “We ask that you acknowledge our invaluable contributions to the function of your schools and treat us equitably.”

Aside from the layoffs, 45 secretarial positions are getting their hours cut and both administrators and teachers will have 5 furlough days.  A 2% pay cut is also on the table.

Timothy Welp, who works at the Oregon School Employees Association, represents the employees voicing their concerns to the board.

Welp told KOIN 6 News there has been years of job cuts, no cost of living adjustments, and now, a higher deductible health care plan for those not making much to begin with.

According to the school district, these changes are because they had to reduce the budget by nearly $7 million. They blamed the reduced budget on increasing costs, insufficient state revenue and declining enrollment. These factors are the reason the district lost $2 million just last year.

Welp said, “Those challenges are real, they absolutely are, but what we’re asking for the district to do is work with us on re-prioritizing the budget.”

While it’s not clear when things will be finalized, Welp and the employees hope for a conversation.

“We’re not trying to be oppositional, we’re trying to figure out how to make this work. Please reconsider, make us feel part of the team,” Welp said.