TCSS asked to change pay frequency

Published 5:15 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Two Troup County School System bus drivers spoke to the school board Monday night requesting a change in pay frequency.

Dynette Copeland and Chandra Lynch asked for the board to change the school system’s payment frequency from once a month to bi-weekly.

“We have reached across the board to office workers, drivers, mechanics, monitors, paraprofessionals, teachers, substitute teachers, custodians and secretaries, and they all share our same belief that bi-weekly pay would be a change for the good,” Lynch said.

The bus drivers presented the board with a petition where many from the school system had signed.

Lynch said trying to stretch one check for an entire month is difficult.

“Our most popular response was that the wait was so long between month to month and most Americans live paycheck to paycheck,” Lynch said. “To have to stretch it for so long, from month-to-month, it causes a financial strain on employees.”

The board did not respond to the request, per its policy, but it did ask clarifying questions. Interim Superintendent Roy Nichols clarified that they weren’t asking for a pay increase, rather just a change in pay frequency.

“It would be the same [pay],” Lynch said.

Lynch and Copeland asked for a response in writing, and Nichols said he would respond in writing after the board had considered the request.

Other items discussed Monday included:

  • The board was given the findings of an audit from the fiscal year 2018. Christopher McKellar of Mauldin & Jenkins Certified Public Accountants, LLC said the school system received an “unmodified or clean opinion.” Chief Financial Officer Byron Jones said TCSS was one of 60 school districts in the state that received a low-risk designation.
  • Nichols briefly mentioned an action item that will be voted on Thursday for the replacement of a water filtration system at Rosemont Elementary School. “For those of you who don’t know, the water looks and tastes terrible out there because there’s so much iron in the tank. What we want to do is add a water filtration system,” Nichols said. The expected budget for that project would be $150,000. Water coolers are currently in place at Rosemont for students and staff to use and a filter is being installed in the kitchen. TCSS found an elevated level of lead in water pipes at Rosemont in December and replaced the pipes.
  • Nichols said that he will ask the board to table a vote to update to board policy BCBI, which dictates public participation in board meetings. “We learned the legislature was considering passing a bill that would affect this policy,” Nichols. “What I’d like to do is to change my recommendation on Thursday from approving the revisions to tabling the revisions one more month, just to see what comes out of the legislature.” If approved, the proposed policy would simplify the process for the public to speak at school board meetings.