The need to begin school on a fully remote basis because of the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily affected the need for certain educational support staff. As a result, the Board of Education has approved memorandums of agreement between unions and the district to furlough or reduce work hours for some employees in lieu of a permanent reduction in force. The agreements are in effect through the end of the first semester.
“While our goal is to return to in-person learning for all students as quickly and safely as possible, the Board recognizes that we have hard choices to make in the meantime in order to be good fiscal stewards for our community,” Board President Sara Dixon Spivy said. “We are actively working on a reentry plan that will help establish a timeline for all students and staff to return to campus. We are optimistic that next semester we will have some level of in-person instruction, which would allow us to recall furloughed staff. However, we acknowledge the hardship this creates for those employees in the meantime, and in no way does this decision reflect on our appreciation for their service to the District. We hope to be able to reunite our Huskie family in the near future.”
Previously, at its August meeting, the Board had approved the furlough of eight full-time and 14 part-time Food Service workers, who are not part of a bargaining unit. The current agreements affect two units of the Service Employees International Union: Campus Safety and Support, as well Buildings, Grounds, Custodial, and Maintenance.
Under the agreement with Campus Safety, three full-time and nine part-time employees have been temporarily furloughed. In addition, the district is offering a retirement incentive of $10,000 to the union members who are currently eligible to retire, provided they retire no later than Dec. 31, 2020.
The agreement with Buildings and Grounds temporarily reduces the work hours for 11 skilled maintenance workers, 28 custodians, one assistant head custodian, and one dock attendant. The district is offering the same retirement incentive of $10,000 to the union members who are currently eligible to retire, provided they retire no later than Oct. 1, 2020.