Reduction in force policy forces job cutsPublished 12:03am Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The downward spiral in the economy and proration have forced my school districts in Alabama to take a very close look at their reduction in force policy to eliminate some jobs, transfer personnel, and to save money.
The 2006 Alabama Administrative Code states, “Each board shall adopt a written reduction-in-force policy consistent with Section 16-1-30. The policy shall include, but shall not be limited to, layoffs, recalls, and notifications of layoffs and recalls. The reduction-in- force policy of the board shall be based on objective criteria.
The code defines layoff as an unavoidable reduction in the work force beyond normal attrition due to decreased student enrollment or shortage of revenues.
Most school systems in the state of Alabama and nationwide base their reduction in force policy’s objective criteria on “seniority”, rather than job performance.
Performance evaluation has a degree of subjectivity. This subjectivity has led to legal challenges.
Tenured and non-tenured employees are affected by the reduction in force policy. An employee who currently holds administrative status may be transferred back to the position where he or she gained tenure, with salary commensurate to the lower position.
This policy and its procedures can be complicated. Sometimes, there are several employees with similar positions and equal seniority.
School districts tend to use the reduction in force policy as a last resort.