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Sunday, September 20, 2020

Unclassified/student worker shake up

Both student and unclassified workers will be undergoing changes that will affect hiring and employment standards for jobs on campus.

Under Assembly Bill 2160 community college must replace all their unclassified workers and replace them with classified workers.

In an email from the Personnel Director from Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), “Effective immediately, the end date on all ‘new’ and ‘currently in process’ assignments impacted by AB 2160 will be Dec. 15, 2018.  If an assignment is currently in our possession, we will change the end date to avoid having to return it to you. All new assignments should be submitted with an end date of Dec. 15, 2019.”

Personnel Commission will be eliminating jobs held by unclassified workers after Dec. 15 under AB 2160.

This bill states that schools and community college districts must get rid of positions that are not deemed as classified positions.

The main difference between the two types of categories is that classified workers are permanent. Unclassified workers receive assignments that vary from semester to semester, cannot exceed 1,000 working hours an entire year and have no benefits. Whereas a classified worker is a person who gets paid hourly and receives benefits from the school.

For the Child Development Center, this means that the jobs of three unclassified workers will be replaced with one classified worker.

The Child Development Center currently has three levels of assistant positions all varying in pay scale and description, but with AB 2160, these job positions will change. Since the qualifications for these jobs will be modified, unclassified workers and their positions will be replaced.

All Child Development and Recreation Centers across LACCD will be impacted by the new bill.

According to Director of Child Development Center Phyllis Schneider, since the bill will remove the jobs of unclassified workers to employ classified workers, this will mean the centers will have to pay extra to cover the cost and benefits for these workers.

Although not all the details have been decided concerning this matter, the Personnel Commission will hold a meeting today at Los Angeles Southwest College to discuss and vote on the matter.

However, student workers are at risk of losing their jobs due to a draft proposed by the district to only have four job titles for student workers.

In addition to decreasing the number of student worker titles, the district has proposed stricter job requirements further limiting them.

“There are conversations at the district level about limiting the student workers or the number and capacity of student workers on campus,” Center for Academic Success Director Crystal Kiekel said.

The proposed draft places limits on the courses one is able to tutor.

One of the proposed student tutor positions requires students to maintain a 3.0 GPA. This limits students who may have previously struggled with one subject yet excel at the subject they tutor in.

This jeopardizes plans for the implementation of Assembly Bill 705. The bill requires that community colleges increase the chances for students to enroll in and complete a transfer-level math and English courses within their first year of college.

Students who may not be fully prepared for transfer-level courses, yet are enrolled in them may require outside support. Pierce plans to increase the number of embedded tutors and peer mentors to supplement the bill.

“The peer connection between students and tutors is absolutely vital,” Kiekel said. “We’re hoping to strengthen that connection, but if the district is having these conversations about who we can hire, what they can do, and so on, without our input. Basically, we are just going to be affected by a policy that we’ve never been consulted for.”

The student workers who will be affected by this decision are not involved in the conversation.

“Student government has not been consulted,” Kiekel said. “Faculty have not been consulted. They basically have a work group that’s making these decisions and pushing these decisions out.”

The draft from the district is currently being discussed.

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The Roundup is the student-run news outlet at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif.

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