TCSS discusses retention supplements for all employees at Monday’s work session

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, November 17, 2021

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During the Troup County School System’s work session Tuesday, Dr. Brian Shumate recommended a retention supplement for all employees of the school system. Shumate himself was absent due to a prior commitment, but Assistant Superintendent Chip Medders spoke on his behalf at the meeting.

The recommendation, if approved, would roll out in two installments — one for next month and one in May of 2022. Medders explained in an interview what this would look like for the employees.

“If approved, and it’s at $1,500, the rollout would be December of [2021], next month,” Medders said. “They would receive half of the supplements, so $750 and then the month of May, the end of the school year, the other $750. That’s where you’re getting a total of $1,500.”

Dr. Scott Burckbuchler, the chief financial officer for the school system, said that this supplement is similar to what other school systems in the state are doing.

“Retention supplements have been done in other jurisdictions. We are confident that it’s going to be approved,” Burckbuchler said. “If not, we have sufficient fund resources and certainly this is an excellent use of funds in terms of recruiting and retaining staff.” 

The money for this supplement will need to be approved by the state and would use funds from the CARES Act or American Recovery fund. Shumate initially drew up the recommendation as a way to highlight the hard work of Troup County employees.

“His recommendation to the board is understanding that over the past two years … recognizing  all the hard work,” Medders said. “Opportunities are usually found in the middle of crisis.”

Per Medders, a point of discussion for Thursday night’s meeting will be how to handle the supplement for part-time employees.

“I’m really talking about…part time bus drivers, substitute teachers and people that fit into those type of categories. They’re going to prorate those,” Medders said. “For example, if there’s 90 days in the semester and let’s say you worked 45 days as a part time employee, those 45, you’re going to get half of the supplement.” 

The supplement will be discussed again on Thursday night at 5:30 p.m. at the board of education meeting. Those who wish to make a public comment on this or any issue may do so then.