Sweetwater Breathes 'Sigh of Relief'

They won't face a salary cut either !!

By Susan Taylor
|  Tuesday, May 12, 2009  |  Updated 2:00 PM PDT
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Sweetwater Breathes 'Sigh of Relief'

Districts throughout the county are grappling with how to balance the budget.

The same day the Sweetwater Union High School district unions banded together to cast a vote of 'no confidence' for their superintendent Jesus Gandara, the district announced it will be rescinding 48 layoff notices and withdrawing its two percent salary reduction proposal.

The employee unions - all six of them - took the action Monday for the first time in the district's history, according to KPBS reporter Ana Tintocalis.

The unions have been working for a year without a contract and are demanding Gandara's resignation because he doesn't ask for employee input and they feel he doesn't want to reach a consensus with workers.

On Saturday, the district received $12.2 million in funding as part of the federal government's stimulus funding to the states, according to a district release. That money will be allocated over the next two fiscal years.

"This $12.2 million is a huge sigh of relief for the Sweetwater District," said Board President Jim Cartmill. "We have been working tirelessly to find responsible ways to close our $11.6 million budget deficit. This funding helps us do just that."

The district said it had already rescinded 72 layoff notices to teachers and counselors as a result of an Early Retirement Incentive offered to all employees.

As for the no-confidence vote, the district spokesperson told KPBS it was a union tactic to get a "status quo contract right now, but we don't have a status quo economy right now."

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