LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Local union leaders say there have been more than 700 layoff notices within JCPS and some of those people have worked for the district for 30 plus years.
“We have 766 of our members that have officially received layoff notices,” AFSCME Union Representative Bo Johnson told WDRB News.
“They feel like nothing they've done counts,” said AFSCME Chapter President Sandy Mayes.
The local city and government employee union hall was packed with JCPS employees Saturday afternoon. At issue is the more than 700 men and women who may no longer have jobs because of a lack in funding.
AFSCME Union leaders say the majority of them are Pre-K and Head Start employees like Sonja Boykin.
“I enjoy working with kids, it's my passion. It's my calling,” Boykin said.
Last year the district was at risk of losing about $14 million annually in Head Start grant money due to a management deficiency. Once the all clear was given, the district reapplied, but JCPS officials say they haven't received the official grant notification, nor could they confirm the number of lay-offs.
“There's not a lot of transparency with the district and its difficult to get answers,” Johnson said.
If the funding comes through, Mayes believes employees could get their jobs back, but she isn't going to hold her breath.
“We've been told that they will, but we've been told lots of things that don't actually come true,” she said.
“It’s quite a shock, just the way they handled the situation,” Boykin said.
And if younger, less expensive workers are hired in place of the experienced workers, union leaders are ready to take action.
“There will be lawsuits filed if by chance they do not hire you back just because of your age or your years,” Mayes said.
In the meantime, there isn't much Boykin can do except look back fondly on her 22 years working in Pre-K.
“I've been praying about it and just hope for the best,” she said.
Union leaders said some employees will just retire even though they didn't have plans to do so because they just don't trust the school system.
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