With this time of year comes budget proposals and staffing needs. For the past several years, our county has been significantly impacted by budget constraints that have led us to implement our Reduction in Force (RIF) policy. Unfortunately budget woes seem to be spreading to other counties as well.
Thankfully we had the RIF policy in place in order to move forward in as systematic way. Even though I personally had concerns about certain parts of the policy, the fact that it was clearly written and relatively direct to implement saved the system from potential issues later. We, as with several other school systems use the seniority and endorsement clause (last in, first out). This was very disappointing, and troubling as we worked diligently to recruit the teachers that we ultimately needed to RIF.
My point is simple however. Follow the policy to the letter. Even though you may have personal concerns about it, if the policy is not adhered to, you WILL have issues, even if you are trying to do the best thing or “being nice”. During the times of the RIF process, we strived to have clear, consistent communication with the employees involved. This too assisted to reduce the stress and anxiety involved.
By no means am I trying to overly simplify or soften this process. It is all consuming, stressful and challenging for all of the employees impacted directly or indirectly.