During a special meeting Tuesday night, the Cayuga Community College Board of Trustees discussed budgetary and bargaining unit issues.
The College and board is working to reduce expenditures of its $32.36 million operating budget by approximately $1.5 million before the end of the fiscal year on August 31, 2013, to help make up for an unexpected 5 percent enrollment decrease. Last fall, senior leaders and budget managers identified more than $778,000 in savings through employee retirements, operating budget reductions, cuts to travel, and reductions in part-time employee hours.
Earlier this spring, managerial and confidential employees, executive staff, and the president accepted furlough days and helped bring budgetary savings over the $933,000 mark. College administrators are currently working with the four bargaining units to help close the budget gap for this year.
The meeting opened with comments from two College employees who spoke highly of their work experience at Cayuga and encouraged the board to do what is best for the students during the public.
“The employee turnout from all four bargaining units at the meeting, as well as the comments of the two employees who spoke at the meeting, speaks to the commitment that they feel for this College and their work here,” said President Daniel P. Larson. “I am confident that we will find a collaborative solution to the budgetary challenges facing the College.”
Shortly thereafter the board moved into executive session to discuss bargaining unit contracts for more than an hour. When the board reconvened the public meeting, it empowered Dr. Larson to continue discussions with union leadership to find savings that will help balance the budget and avoid layoffs.
Several factors contributed to the budgetary shortfall this year, including lower than projected enrollment, student retention issues, stagnant state aid and local funding, and increased fixed costs for the College.
The board will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. next Monday to continue the discussions.