St. Louis Community College workers facing layoffs, make their voices heard outside trustee meeting

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Community College could soon be facing some layoffs.  At a special board of trustees meeting was held Tuesday night workers at the college protested outside of the meeting, saying the board has not negotiated in good faith them.

The college is dealing with state budget cuts totaling more than $3.5 million and a 35-percent decline in enrollment from 2011 through 2015. Currently, there are about 18,800 students enrolled on the four campuses.

The draft report lists cost-cutting options including suspending sabbaticals, reviewing academic programs annually and offering another round of buyouts for employees.

One hundred seventeen employees accepted a buyout package earlier this year. A second round of voluntary buyouts could prevent the need to cut 70 full-time faculty positions and 25 non-faculty members.

The board of trustees has also reduced the number of administrators in academic affairs and leadership positions by 20-percent, frozen hiring for non-critical an unfilled position along with the sale of some properties owned by college.

The report further stated that if the board did not act now, the Community College could face a $13-million-dollar deficit by 2020.

For now, a tuition increase is not being considered.

While no vote was taken tonight on budget cuts, the board of trustees wanted the public to have voice in how the college deals with the financial crisis.