Pasco employee union rejects district furlough proposal
The proposal came as no surprise. The Pasco County School Board for months has spoken of its plan to give all employees unpaid leaves of absence -- four days for 12-month workers, three days for everyone else -- to save about $6 million.
"We've done as many reductions as we can to save as many positions as we can," district negotiator Bryan Jack told the United School Employees of Pasco school-related personnel representatives. "This is one of the only ways that we can come up with that money."
USEP president Lynne Webb wasn't biting.
She responded that the USEP leadership did not agree with the district's budget analysis, that there seemed to be savings in the budget that lessened the need for furloughs. Those included nearly $600,000 in early retirement savings, as much as $750,000 in expected insurance savings and more.
"For the board to come back and propose exactly what they have budgeted and not take into account all these areas where we worked hard to find savings ... we think that needs to be taken more into consideration," Webb told Jack. "We will not be accepting this proposal as it is."
The sides plan to talk furloughs again, along with the instructional bargaining team, on Tuesday. Before that, the district plans to make a similar proposal for teachers tomorrow, Jack said. It already has begun docking the pay of non-union employees for their furlough days.
Superintendent Heather Fiorentino has said she believes the district has the right to impose furlough days, but she wants to work out a plan that's acceptable to the USEP if at all possible.