ONTARIO — Following a notification on Friday of a change of education services offered to inmates at two correctional facilities, Treasure Valley Community College had to make the decision to lay off 19 employees. Employees were notified by the college on Monday that their jobs would end today, according to information from Abby Lee, TVCC spokeswoman.
The change is directly due to due to actions taken by the Oregon Department of Corrections, which states that the education services “may resume” after the state of emergency related to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic passes.
TVCC employees who work and teach at Snake River Correctional Institution and Warner Creek Correctional Institution in Lakeview are on contract position; the state needed an immediate amendment to its contract, with payment ending Sunday.
“In response, TVCC had to notify 19 employees who work and teach at SRCI/WCCF that their positions would end immediately,” Lee said.
Education services at SRCI are provided by TVCC through a contract with the Corrections Department, and not funded by the college’s General Fund, Lee said.
Faculty at SRCI will receive 30 days of pay per a contract, and other employees will be paid their remaining vacation pay, Lee said, and insurance coverage will be paid for the TVCC employees for one more month.
“In additional to the loss of revenue to pay employees at SRCI, TVCC is also losing additional funding from administrative costs it receives from the contract,” she continued.
Lee emphasized that TVCC “does not have additional dollars to make up for the loss of revenue.”
College officials hope the suspension of the contract is temporary, she said, adding “no additional information as to when services will resume.”