Furlough reimbursement remains unpaid for Pasco school employees
It's been three months since the Pasco school district announced it would repay employees for one of the two furlough days it imposed during the 2011-12 school year. Workers have yet to see a dime.
With the campaign for superintendent and School Board District 2 in full swing, some staffers have questioned whether the current office holders will hold true to their promise of reimbursement. Perhaps, one person suggested, the checks will appear just before the Aug. 14 election along with a note reminding everyone how the board and administration made partial repayment of the pay cut possible.
That's not the plan, though.
The checks are due out on Aug. 17, district spokeswoman Summer Romagnoli, with every eligible employee set to get one. Note the word eligible.
That means "if they were employed the entire year and had each deduction taken out," Romagnoli explains, noting the negotiated agreement on furlough reimbursements. So if a teacher started working for the district in September instead of August, for example, that person will not get money back.
United School Employees of Pasco president Lynne Webb told members in early June, when urging contract ratification, that the deal was the best the union could get in dire financial times. The USEP pressured the district to make reimbursement of the furlough days a top priority if the district had available funds at the end of the year, which it did because of health insurance savings.
Webb also noted at the time that the checks would come after the end of the school year, to "any teacher or SRP who served two furlough days." The deal has no impact on the 2012-13 school year, in which two more furlough days are planned.