Make us your home page


Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Latest Pinellas furlough proposal circulated at bargaining table

UPDATE: Please note this post has been updated since its original publishing to reflect concerns by deputy superintendent Jim Madden that the proposal is a worst-case scenario the district hopes to avoid.

LARGO -- District administrators on Tuesday circulated an employee furlough proposal that could temporarily save the district $12.6 million in salaries and benefits during 2011-12 by requiring employees to take unpaid leave.

It's part of a series of difficult cost-cutting measures that school officials are considering to plug a significant budgetary shortfall in the coming year.

Fred Matz, chief financial officer for Pinellas County schools, pointed out during budget negotiation discussions with union representatives that the bulk of the furlough savings would come from asking the district's 7,000-plus classroom teachers to take five days of unpaid leave.

Shortly after this post was published at 5 p.m., deputy superintendent Jim Madden called the Gradebook to clarify that the following proposal represents a worst-case scenario proposal.

"It's not cast in concrete," he said, emphasizing that the district will seek to reduce other costs first. "We will continue to look at ways to reduce the number of furlough days."

The proposal is as follows:

Twelve-month employees

  • Administration - 239 employees, nine furlough days, saving the district $744,425.
  • Professional & technical - 141.2 employees, seven furlough days, saving $224,678.
  • Instructional - 4.3 employees, seven furlough days, saving $8,819.
  • Support - 1,765 employees, five days, saving $992,127.

Eleven-month employees

  • Assistant principals - 108 employees, six furlough days, saving $180,010.
  • Professional & technical - four employees, six furlough days, saving $4,361.
  • Support - 163.5 employees, four furlough days, saving $74,881

Eleven-and-a-half-month employees

  • Instructional - 180.6 employees, six furlough days, saving $272,382.
  • Support - 0.8 of an employee, five furlough days, saving $525.

Ten-and-a-half-month employees

  • Assistant principals - 69 employees, six furlough days, saving $108,762.

Ten-month employees

  • Instructional - 7,419.4 employees, five furlough days, $7.9 million
  • Support - 1,981.2 employees, four furlough days, $663,255.

Add all that together, you get a total salary savings of $11.2 million in salary savings plus $1.4 million in fringe benefit savings, reaching the $12.6 million figure.

Obviously, all of this is subject to negotiation and school board approval.

The board voted early Friday morning to cut $50 million from next year's budget including savings from furloughs. But it directed superintendent Julie Janssen to keep searching for another $4.7 million, in part to avoid having to extend the number of furlough days.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 5:38am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours