SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — In less than 10 weeks, hourly workers in Springfield Public Schools will shift to a different pay schedule.
As of now, SPS uses annualized pay.
“They take their rate of pay times the estimated number of hours that they’ll put in based on the days they work and the hours they work, and they divide it out so that it covers that they have constant income and consistent income all through the year,” said Laura Mullins, President of Springfield NEA.
The SNEA, a local teacher’s union, says many workers want to keep annualized pay.
“The majority of them, based on surveys that we’ve done within our own membership, they don’t want to lose that,” Mullins said.
The move by SPS would pay hourly workers for only the hours they work.
A petition by the SNEA to stop the change has been circulating online.
“What we’re proposing is give them the option to keep it or not keep it and do what’s best for their family and their needs,” Mullins said.
KOLR 10 reached out to SPS for comment and was given this statement:
For several years, auditors have recommended ending annualized pay to align with human resource and payroll best practices. We recognize that not all employees will welcome the change to non-annualized pay, which is why every effort has been made to notify staff as early as possible. Multiple informational meetings, both in-person and virtual, have been held to explain the changes and provide support. In addition, we have a standing offer to meet individually with any employee who has questions about their specific situation. Unique scenarios may impact some employees and we are committed to working with these individuals to the best of our ability.”Statement from Springfield Public Schools
Mullins says this affects a multitude of positions from bus drivers to paraprofessionals.
“This is important to teachers, too, because we depend on all of these, the kitchen staff, the secretaries, the school resource officers and the nurses,” Mullins said.
Another member of the union says workers are worried about the financial impact, especially if workers utilize government programs to help support their families.
“Most of them are just concerned that the pay is not going to be consistent. There’s no way to plan out what’s going to happen from month to month because it varies,” Rhonda Black-Fry said.
The move to non-annualized pay becomes official on July 1.