PSS proposes to continue 64-hour work schedule

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UNDER a proposal it submitted to the Board of the Education on Tuesday, the Public School System said it will continue to implement a 64-hour, four-day  work schedule when the new school year starts on Sept. 8 and not on Aug. 30 as earlier announced.

PSS human resources director Lucretia Borja noted that the BOE approved on June 4 a new PSS organizational chart, removing the positions of four associate commissioners. They will be designated as senior directors and will be paid less.

PSS can expect savings of $1 million from the new organizational chart, Borja said.

She added that PSS can also save $4.2 million if 433 locally funded employees — including classroom teachers, instructors, school counselors and librarians — will continue to work for 64 hours per payroll period.

Moreover, if 221  teacher aides, library aides, school aides, truant officers, building maintenance, administrative staff, bus drivers, bus conductors and other school support staff remain on a 64-hour work-schedule, PSS can save an additional $1.2 million, Borja said.

She added that PSS can save a total of $6.4 million a year under the new organizational chart and 64-hour work schedule.

“In the event that our funding level improves, then PSS will revisit the personnel compensation and determine if austerity will be lifted partially or fully,” Borja said.

The continuation of the 64-hour work schedule, which was first implemented in April, requires approval of the BOE.

Borja said PSS is expecting a potential decrease in the education budget for fiscal year 2021 because of the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our goal is to continue to ensure that we live within our means and avert an end-of-fiscal-year shortfall that will impact PSS’ mission, which is to provide quality public education,” she added.

Federally funded employees, for their part, will continue to work for 80 hours and receive 80 hours of pay per pay period. They are also required to report for duty on austerity Fridays so they can  work on compliance, wellness programs and tutoring.

 

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