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South Range to pay non-teaching staff

BEAVER TWP. – South Range non-teaching employees will continue to be paid during the COVID-19 related closure.

The school board Monday night agreed to retain employment and compensation of all regularly employed non-teaching worker and contractors through the period ending April 30 and authorized schools Superintendent Dennis Dunham to extend the agreement through May 15 if needed based on a federal stimulus package. The agreement requires each employee to remain available for possible duties during their regularly scheduled hours and prevents them from accepting other jobs during those hours. The employees may also be asked to perform duties outside their established job duties based on skills,

The school board also authorized Dunham to take the necessary actions to comply with regulations regarding safe and secure working environments.

Schools Treasurer Jim Phillips said Pennsylvania has already passed a bill that requires schools retain employment and compensation of non-teaching workers and several surrounding districts in Ohio have also taken the action.

Phillips said the district received a lot of money from the previous stimulus package during the recession in 2008 and following years. He said based on the amount of money between what the district would save in layoffs and the continued payment for the remaining school year, in relation to what the district would receive in stimulus funds, the layoffs are not a good business decision.

Dunham said the district will be able to pay the employees with the educational stabilization funds and the board needs to make sure the district is following the law and the stimulus package guidelines by maintaining the employment and compensation of the affected workers.

Dunham noted some of the employees are still performing duties, such as custodians who clean the facilities and bus drivers who deliver meals. He said the district can be creative with the other employees such as teachers aides to be beneficial to the students at home. He also noted that although the agreement allows for potential overtime, there are enough aides that overtime will not be a factor.

Also at the meeting, Dunham reminded students and parents the school facilities, including the stadium and ball fields, are closed to the public at this time.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 20.

khowell@salemnews.net

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