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LAUSD unveils early retirement program

May 11, 2009 8:49:04 AM PDT
The Los Angeles Unified School District unveiled a plan Monday that could save hundreds of non-teaching jobs threatened by budget cuts.Board President Monica Garcia and Superintendent Ramon Cortines revealed details of an early retirement package available to everyone from librarians to janitors.

"From the main office to the cafeteria, school staffs outside the classroom have been hard hit by this budget. Offering them early retirement to save jobs is the right thing to do," said Board President Garcia.

If the plan is approved by the Board of Education on Tuesday, it would delay the sending of 2,600 layoff notices from Friday until June 18 to account for those accepting early retirement.

The early retirement incentives mirror those already offered to teachers and principals. They include paying 40 percent of next year's salary over five years to full-time employees who've worked for the district for five years.

In April, nearly 1,400 teachers, principals, and administrators accepted a similar deal, potentially saving hundreds of jobs.

"The early retirement program is a positive step toward reducing layoffs and the impact that job loss would have on essential student services," said Blanca Gallegos, a spokesperson for SEIU Local 99.

In April, the Board of Education voted to cut approximately 5,400 jobs in order to close the $600 million deficit in next year's budget, but the exact number of layoffs is expected to be lower than that figure.

Meanwhile, Cortines says the district will provide re-training for laid off workers interested in moving into other positions that need to be filled.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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