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Support staffs agree to furloughs

Pay-to-play plan for athletics still considered for upcoming school year
By: Lauren Gibbs, The Placer Herald
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Another employee group has come forward with voluntary concessions to help Rocklin Unified School District with its $8 million deficit. Members of the California School Employees Association and non-represented employee group, which represents groundskeepers, custodians and bus drivers, both agreed to take four furlough days for the 2010-11 school year. The voluntary reduction of workdays saves the district approximately $212,900 for the 2010-11 school year. “It has been an easy and flawless negotiation year,” said Tiffany Pelkey, president of the California School Employees Association. Board members thanked the groups for their leadership and personal sacrifices that were made. “We appreciate the leadership you have all shown,” Trustee Camille Maben said during last Wednesday’s board meeting. Also on the agenda was discussing the implementation of a Voluntary Athletic Contribution for families of athletes. Instead of $100 transportation fees, families would pay $125 for the first sport, $100 for the second sport or second sibling, $75 for the third sport or third sibling or $450 for a family plan. Additionally, transportation would be reduced for smaller athletic teams. Rocklin High Assistant Principal/Athletic Director David Bills said the contribution would make up for lost stipends. “It’s the best plan for recouping those funds,” he said. Presented to the district was a proposed letter to the parents informing them of the new voluntary contribution. The letter read that the contributions are voluntary and the amount of the contribution, if any, will not have any effect on a student’s participation in athletics. Concerns for the plan include how other extra-curricular clubs and groups would be able to make up for the loss of stipends. The board suggested the idea to have voluntary contributions to cover not only athletics, but also all extra- and co-curricular activities. Barbara Scott, president of Rocklin Teachers Professional Association, said that after the concessions made by the teachers’ group, she doesn’t want to see teachers volunteering their time, in addition to their reduction of pay. Board members echoed the same idea. The district is moving forward with the idea to implement Voluntary Athletic Contributions for the 2010-11 school year.