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Nicolet prepares for layoffs

District faces deficit between $250,000-$450,000 in 2010-11

April 27, 2010

Nicolet — The School Board approved preliminary layoff notices for 11 staff members, or 5.3 full-time equivalent positions after a long closed session Monday night.

In a 2010-2011 budget update prior to the session, Business Manager Jeff Dellutri said because of the number of variables that are yet to be determined, he will wait until May 24 meeting to bring an operational budget to the School Board.

Depending on the results of contract negotiations ongoing with all the unions in the district, Dellutri estimates a shortfall of $250,000 to $450,000. If the district is successful in negotiating 1 percent pay increases with its unions, the shortfall would be $250,000. If the pay raise is 2 percent, the estimated deficit is $450,000. But those numbers are not solid or definite at this point.

District Administrator Rick Monroe said although preliminary layoff notices cause anxiety for people receiving them, nothing is final until June 1.

"There are a number of variables out there that can change things, like OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits)," he said. "We need to make sure we have the money for those benefits we have guaranteed our retirees."

The district expects a report from an actuarial firm regarding its contribution to the OPEB fund next week.

Dellutri mentioned other factors.

"We are bidding out all employee benefits," he said. "If people really sharpen their pencils, and we get some good rates, it might help settle some of the contracts."

Lower rates for various benefits would narrow the budget gaps, he said.

Final layoff notices are due June 1, but most years, some staff are recalled.

"Sometimes they are called back before school is even over," Dellutri said.

Call backs can come as late as August after summer enrollment.

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