As the Pasco school district looks for ways to reduce expenses, one idea that has emerged is having employees pay for a portion of their health insurance benefits.
That proposal hasn't resonated with many workers, prompting the School Board to look for other ways to save money. One concept that has been kicked around from time to time is a furlough day this year, with the savings carried over to next year's budget.
At a recent budget workshop, United School Employees of Pasco president Lynne Webb rejected the idea out of hand as nearly impossible to implement. But after it came up again at this week's board meeting, superintendent Heather Fiorentino asked Webb to get some feedback from employees as to whether they'd consider the proposal.
On Wednesday afternoon, the USEP put out an alert asking members to participate in a two-question survey:
• Are you willing to take the last teacher workday, Friday, June 11, 2010, as an unpaid furlough day?
• If the last workday were an unpaid furlough day, would you want the salary reduction spread through remaining checks or taken from your last paycheck?
Webb stressed in her alert that while the USEP has authorized the survey, it hasn't approved any furlough, which would have to be negotiated and ratified. "Depending upon the responses to the survey, USEP will determine whether to negotiate the proposed furlough day or not," she wrote.
The survey ends Friday, with results due soon after.
Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at blogs.tampabay.com/schools.