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updated: 6/6/2011 6:21 PM

Dist. 300 adds furlough days to cut costs

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In a continuing effort save money, Community Unit District 300 has placed three mandatory staff furlough days on the summer schedule.

The furlough days will affect year-round employees such as administrators, nonunion staff and a number of secretaries and custodians who work 12-month schedules, said Allison Strupeck, the district's spokeswoman.

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The first of the three furlough days was June 3. All district offices also will be closed on June 10 and 17.

"The national economic recession, and particularly the fiscal crisis in Illinois, has forced many creative budget solutions like furlough days," Strupeck said. "The district wanted to focus on cuts that, while they negatively impact productivity, would not impact students."

Strupeck said the three unpaid days off, which would save the district about $150,000, were selected due to their proximity to the end of the current school year.

The furlough days and other reductions were approved last spring to trim about $900,000 from the 2010-11 budget.

In addition, Strupeck said the district would see residual savings in energy costs because of the central office and all buildings being shut down for the three furlough days. Conservative estimates have the district saving about $5,000.

In addition to unpaid days off for 53 nonunion employees, the district approved pay reductions for administrators, custodians and secretaries. Administrators also were required to take three furlough days and pay higher insurance premiums -- moves estimated to save the district $450,000.

The contract approved for secretaries and custodians also froze salaries and eliminated overtime, which the district estimates saved more than $500,000.

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