Thursday, February 12, 2015

Board approves one-time payment for eligible employees

The Board of Education on Feb. 10 approved a one-time payment of $1,000 to all full-time, permanent Charles County Public Schools employees. Eligible employees will receive the payment next week, an action supported by the two employee representative groups – the Education Association of Charles County (EACC) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

“In fiscal year 2015, the school system was not able to provide employees with a step or scale increase or a cost of living adjustment (COLA). The Board agreed with the EACC and AFSCME last year to keep 2015 negotiations open and revisit the budget in January to determine if any employee compensation was possible. The $1,000 payment closes negotiations for the 2014-15 school year,” Superintendent Kimberly Hill said.

Employees who are not full time but work a specific number of contracted hours will receive a prorated portion of the $1,000 payment. Cost of providing the payment is $3.4 million for 3,400 employees. Funding sources include lapsed salary savings from retirements, unfilled positions and hiring lags.
Additionally, the Board agreed to provide CCPS bus contractors with funds to pay each full-time, permanent bus driver and attendant with a $500 payment. The cost of the payment is $175,000 and will be funded by savings generated over several months due to lower fuel prices. CCPS currently works with 27 independent contractors to provide school bus services for students. Full-time, permanent bus drivers and attendants are generally those who are assigned to a specific bus contract. The Board has also asked each contractor to provide a matching one-time payment amount to their eligible employees, if possible. Funding for the payment will be provided to bus contractors in March, who will distribute the payment to their drivers and attendants.

“The Board understands the impact the economy has taken on our employees over the past several years. We hope this one-time payment shows our commitment to supporting our employees. The Board continues to seek competitive compensation in its fiscal year 2016 budget request,” Board Chairman Virginia McGraw said.

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