May 4, 2009

Olympia School District RIF update: May 4

Tomorrow, I'll post some information from WEA Prez, David Johnston, on some RIF and budget figures under consideration. Today, though, via email from the RIF team:
This is the 11th message from the RIF Communication Team. We have two questions to respond to today.

Question: After a RIF has occurred, if circumstances change, will certificated employees have an option to be placed back into their original job if it becomes available?

Answer: Under the OEA/OSD contract Appendix A Section V, Sub C "Individuals who do not retain their original position during this reduction-in-force process will be given involuntary transfer status."

Individuals with involuntary transfer status may request assignment to a vacancy that is announced and to which they are qualified. Employees with involuntary transfer status have preference over other equally-qualified applicants who have not been involuntarily transferred.

If more than one employee who has been involuntarily transferred applies for a position, the most senior employee has highest preference. Once any employee in this scenario selects a position, he/she is no longer considered an involuntary transfer.
The key question, of course, is just how many teachers will find themselves in this situation. As I'll explain tomorrow, it's still impossible to say.
Question: Why do you send out emails even when you have nothing to report?

Answer: One primary concern in the previous RIF a few years ago was that employees didn't have timely information. The RIF Communication Team feels it is important that employees know both when there is new information and when there is not. In the future, when the team has no new information, we will put that in the subject line of the email.
That's a welcome improvement, since about 3-4 of the previous emails were essentially "no new information."

Overall, this RIF process, despite the calamitous circumstances, has been vastly better managed than previous editions. Hopefully it'll be the last.

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