School employees may take pay cut -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

School employees may take pay cut

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  First furloughs, now there's talk of potential pay cuts for employees with the Dougherty County School System. The system may lose another three million dollars in state money.

Tuesday, the finance committee met for two hours behind closed doors. They could vote as early as Thursday on potential pay cuts for employees who receive supplemental salaries.

The problem is the school system still isn't sure about the loss they'll take from the state, it could be as little as three million or as much as $3.5 million, whatever it is, school leaders are looking to cut costs now.

A half hour into the Dougherty School Board's finance committee meeting the doors were closed and for two hours board members met in executive session. They discussed personnel issues and tabled talk about state reductions until later in the week, but its clear the system's budget is a high priority.

"State tax collections on sales tax were down 15, 17, and 20 percent in the first three months. Record unemployment, so Georgians aren't paying Georgia state taxes, and that's what the budget was set on, and if it continues that way further cuts are coming," said DCSS Finance Director Robert Lloyd.

In anticipation, the system is considering changing the percentage of supplemental salaries paid to as many as 250 employees that include principals, counselors, band directors, athletic coaches, school psychologists and others to a lump sum that in the long run would be a cost savings.

"It's those staff who were incentivised with a percentage supplement for different jobs," said Lloyd.

That's not all, Rev. James Bush asked the finance committee to consider parking what's left of the systems 18 take-home vehicles all except six emergency use vehicles.

"We're trying to find ways to cut and our economy is in a mess and that's an understatement so wherever we can be good stewards for our tax payers we need to find a way to do it without excuses and I would find it reprehensible if we don't do something," said Bush.

Something that could keep the school system from ultimately cutting employees.

"That may be an option too depending on the size of the cuts we're going to get, we don't know at this point we're all guessing," said Lloyd.

Finance Director Robert Lloyd is still waiting on information from Atlanta concerning the cuts to percentage grants and transportation funds. He says once they get those numbers he'll have a better idea what financial crisis the system will face.

The Finance Committee agreed to meet again Thursday morning at 7:30 at the Administration Building. They're expected to vote on the change in supplemental salaries then and talk more about the state cuts they're facing.


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