Hocking College Implements Layoffs, Furloughs

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Hocking College has announced that 36 people will lose their jobs due to layoffs in order to help reduce a portion of the $4.4 million deficit the college is currently facing.

In a news release issued Thursday evening, it was announced that the following positions have been eliminated: nine non-bargaining/administrative positions; 16 professional bargaining unit instructional positions; eight professional bargaining unit non-instructional positions; and three support staff bargaining unit positions.

“In addition to the position eliminations, seven positions have experienced contract and/or pay reductions and four vacant positions have been eliminated,” the news release states.

Hocking College approved a revised balanced budget for 2014-15 on Monday.

“At the direction of Hocking College Interim President Dr. Betty Young, the college will undergo a reorganization to continue to meet the needs of students and position Hocking College for growth,” stated the news release.

The new organizational structure will reduce the cost of program management by implementing a dean and department chairman model, eliminating coordinating instructor assignments, according to the news release. The reorganization includes the elimination of three dean positions, effective Dec. 31.

“All efforts are being made to minimize the impact of our budget decline on our students, while protecting the areas critical to the mission of Hocking College," Young said. "The revised budget assures we can continue to deliver the quality programming Hocking College is recognized for and positions the college operation to be sustainable to continue outreach to our communities for generations to come.”

In a message to the campus community, Young wrote, “These decisions are difficult for the entire Hocking College community, and most specifically for those directly impacted. The reorganization is necessary to balance the budget, as personnel costs are the college’s largest expenditure.”

To ease the impact, she indicated each employee whose position was eliminated will be provided with a letter of recommendation and a Hocking College tuition and fee waiver for two years if they would like to attend any of the college’s programs for retraining. Any of these individuals who has a family member currently enrolled at Hocking College under the family fee waiver will continue to be provided the waiver for one year. Finally, these individuals will be offered outplacement assistance from the Hocking College Human Resources department and help from the employee assistance program.

Another strategy Hocking College is using to balance the budget is to reduce payroll costs by requiring mandatory unpaid furlough days for all employees. The college will be closed from Dec. 22, 2014 – Jan. 2, 2015 with employees normally paid during that timeframe on furlough. During spring break from March 2-6, all employees except those support staff bargaining unit employees who earn $30,000 or less will be furloughed.

Professional bargaining unit instructional staff will be furloughed 10 days. Additionally, administrative/non-bargaining and professional bargaining unit non-instructional staff who earn $55,000 or greater will be required to take six extra furlough days from Jan. 1-June 30, 2015. Ohio Police Officer Benevolent Association (OPBA) Bargaining Unit positions are exempt from furlough.

Young was appointed interim president of the college on Oct. 27. President Ron Erickson resigned from his position on Oct. 2.