PSS: Employees now fully paid

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THE Public School System on Friday said it had paid what it owed its 700 locally funded employees.

Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada said PSS has received the $23.1 million in Education Stabilization Fund from the CARES Act so “we already cleared payrolls 9 and 10.”

PSS can now also pay its vendors, he added.

Dr. Alfred Ada

PSS acting finance director Kimo Rosario said the school system owed its non-teaching staff $504,409.88 for pay period 9, and its locally funded employees $307,244.38 for pay period 10.

The teachers have not received their summer pay, amounting to $4 million, “but the funds are available and ready for drawdown and disbursement,” Rosario said.

Ada said PSS teachers and other locally funded employees will remain on furlough until August 1.

There was a plan to end the furlough, but Ada said PSS reconsidered after hearing the advice of the Board of Education members.

“We are trying to save money. Twenty-three million dollars is a lot of money, but education is expensive for 10,000 students. We are trying to do all kinds of cost savings as much as possible so we don’t go through another payless payday,” Ada said.

As for the teachers’ summer pay, PSS is still waiting for a legal opinion from the Department of Labor.

“The Department of Labor says not having an income can qualify for unemployment benefits. In our case, if we give the summer pay to these teachers, will that still be considered income even though that income was owed to them and part of their 190-day contract?” Ada said.

If it is up to him, Ada said the teachers will get the summer pay. “But we have to comply with the rules so the teachers can receive what they should receive.”






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