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COCC furloughs 38 workers due to COVID-19


Represents 9% of staff with benefits; 200 hourly positions were cut earlier

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Since late March, Central Oregon Community College has been operating nearly exclusively in a remote environment, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, some college employees are not able to work the number of hours for which they are contracted.

This week, the college announced that nearly 40 employees will be placed on partial or full furloughs, effective May 26 and running through Sept. 30.

"Like others in the community, and throughout the world, our college is experiencing challenging times," said Laurie Chesley, president of COCC. "We have made the difficult decision to furlough some of our staff members. These furloughs are for employees who, due to the current situation, are not able to work any or only some of their hours."

For the furloughed employees, pay will be reduced according to hours cut, but health insurance benefits will remain the same.

"Furlough decisions are not reflections on employees' performance or commitment to the college," Chesley added. "I sincerely thank these colleagues for all their good work, and I am sorry for the hardships this will cause them and their families."

Overall, COCC is furloughing 38 employees -- 12 for all of their scheduled hours, and the others for part of their hours. The college has 410 positions where employees are on contracts to work between half-time and full-time. The furloughs represent about 9% of the benefited workforce.

Additionally, after the initial move to a remote learning environment, the college eliminated about 200 hourly positions - those where individuals who were scheduled to work less than half time (fewer than 20 hours per week).

For more information, contact Ron Paradis, executive director of College Relations, at 541-383-7599 or

Article Topic Follows: Central Oregon

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