Pittsfield Public School workers took another hit this week with the announcement more layoffs are coming.  An estimated 50 employees that work in the food services department are the ones set to receive pink slips.

As the Pittsfield Public School system continues to prepare for the first week of remote learning as school officially begins next week, the need for food workers is obviously diminished with the lack of students physically in school.

The Berkshire Eagle is reporting that Superintendent Jason McCandless told the Pittsfield School Committee on Wednesday night that the district is expecting that it will need only 20 food services workers to handle meals for students during the remote learning period. That session is scheduled to begin on Tuesday. The food services department currently has 70 employees.

"There is no question that we will be looking at layoffs among our food service individuals, who really exist in a space for their work that is not within our budget… Their entire operation exists outside of our budget; it's the only piece of what we do that is self-sustaining." ~ Superintendent Jason McCandless

Kristen Behnke, the assistant superintendent of administration and finance, says that employees who are laid off would be able to retain their benefits through the month of October.

To try and lessen the impact, McCandless says the district is now in negotiations with the employee’s union to find alternative work for some impacted nutritional services workers until more kids are back in the school buildings. That, of course, would mean that more meals would need to be served.

McCandless says that the situation is not expected to impact other areas of the school system, and the district does not expect any other employee units will be hit with layoffs.

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