My post this week has to do with a topic that has strongly hit home in the Smith household (my wife is a high school English teacher--an outstanding one, at that!). This will also be effecting every teacher, counselor, and public school staff member that is considered a 10-month employee in the Tar Heel State.
This past summer, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a law that prohibits prepayment of salaries, effective July 1, 2012. Therefore, beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, LEAs will change the way all 10-month employees are paid. A copy of House Bill 720 is provided (page six, lines seven through nine)http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2011/Bills/House/PDF/H720v3.pdf.
The key component of this is that there is no reduction in pay, but simply a transition in the pay dates in accordance to State law. My district, like many of the districts in North Carolina, pay their salaried employees once per month, at the end of the month. This means that teachers receive a full paycheck at the end of August for days worked PLUS days "assumed to be worked." For employees who do not sign up for twelve-month installment pay, the August paycheck is always badly needed after summers of part-time tutoring, camps, etc.
What does this change mean for the 10-month employees of North Carolina? Basically, no paycheck until the second month of our school year in 2012-13.
Disclosing that I am incorporated into this change as well (my district reduced APs from 11-month to 10.5 month employees two years ago for budget purposes), I have to admit that I agree with House Bill 720. The fact of the matter is that whenever this bill was implemented, there was going to be a year where all employees would have big adjustments. But logically, doesn't it make sense for employees to receive payment after they have actually worked? Isn't this consistent with the majority of the work force?
My primary question/concern/interest is the communication of House Bill 720 for all of our employees throughout the state. I spoke to a teacher in another district today and asked if anyone had mentioned this change at their school. They had no idea and quickly met with the principal to inquire. Not too much later, I received an email from the teacher: "My principal would like you to send them any information you have on the change."
Could you imagine that little surprise come spring:
Great job this year staff. By the way, I hope you saved up a little extra...you won't get paid until
September 28th, instead of August 30th. Have a nice summer!
My district did a great job communicating this change with every employee through an All Employee Memo sent out on Monday, but it was too late for any employee to change their 10-month pay schedule to a 12-month.
My biggest fear is that way too many teachers, counselors, administrators, and other staff are unaware of this change. IF YOU ARE NOT SURE, INQUIRE TO THE APPROPRIATE PERSON IMMEDIATELY!
I am also curious how other areas handle their employee salaries. Is NC ahead of the times, or behind?
I appreciate any responses related to this point, as I continue my calculations/estimations of how we are going to budget for August/September. Good thing I love statistical analysis...(former math teacher)...
Thanks for reading and please follow me via Twitter @CSmithGoBlue
The opinions shared in this blog belong to Craig Smith and do not represent the school or district in which he works.