13 Fresno State staff members laid off

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno State is starting the new semester with fewer staff members.

The university says layoffs went into effect for 13 staff members this week.

"It was heartbreaking to get this info and to see the number that was notified of the layoff," says Lynnette Brown, the president of the Fresno chapter of the CSU employees' union.

Brown says they were shocked to hear staff layoffs were coming.

"We immediately got together and put together a mini task force to reach out to the individuals that received the layoff notices and scheduled one-on-one meeting to get a feel for how they were," she says.

Just this week, eight of their union members were laid off.

That number was drastically reduced from the 27 layoffs that were announced in October.

"We saved 19 positions. These are people's livelihoods, their careers. There have to be other ways to save these jobs," says Brown.

The university wasn't available for interviews on the subject, but said in an email to Action News:

"These actions have been absolutely necessary in order for our university to sustain its operating budget during these unpredictable times,
particularly given our lack of significant, unrestricted reserves."

The Fresno chapter CSU employees' union says with a new state budget next year, they're hoping to see those positions added back in the future.

"We're going to advocate to rehire those support staff that were laid off. Who's going to be there to support those students and make sure they graduate on time?"

Fresno State says they've also implemented a hiring freeze for recruitment of most vacant or new positions and reduced operating budgets by 25%.
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