Summer Pay Distributions
Calls and emails have been received from members who noticed the amounts on summer pay distributions are less than those paid in the last few paychecks of the regular work year. Almost every ten-month Unit 1 employee should be having a similar experience, but there are varying levels of the discrepancies. So far, we have found all of them explainable. Here’s why:
1.) Summer pay distributions to everyone except twelve-month employees are not current earnings. Rather, they come from summer reserve accounts maintained for ten-month employees. These reserve accounts are built by holding a portion of each of the 22 regular pay distributions in escrow to be distributed over the 4 pay periods during the summer months. To equalize the amounts of all 26 pay distributions, 2/13ths (or about 15.4%) of each regular pay distribution must be escrowed.
2.) The vast majority of Unit 1 employees received a step increase on January 22, 2014. Pay distributions from that date until the end of the work year were at a higher rate than those that occurred before the step increase. The natural consequence to the summer reserve accounts was that the amounts escrowed prior to January 22 were insufficient to equalize the higher salaries that began after January 22, because salaries were lower for the first four month of the school year. The summer reserve distributions now occurring reflect the averages of salaries earned over the course of the entire work year.
3.) Some larger discrepancies have occurred that cannot be explained by the simple change in salaries that occurred on January 22. In those instances, we have found the effected members suffered some unpaid time during the regular work year. When there is no salary distribution – or if the distribution is reduced – due to lost time, the portion escrowed is also reduced. That has a direct impact on the amount available for disbursement over the summer months and the four summer distributions.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF FISCAL YEAR 2014 SALARY INCREASES
As indicated in the Settlement Summary, the effective date of the new Agreement was July 1, 2014, but the salary changes will not be experienced simultaneously by all employees. As mentioned above, summer pay distributions to ten-month employees are being made from reserved FY2014 dollars earned last year. So, while twelve-month employees began earning FY2015 salary at the start of the fiscal year on July 1, ten-month employees do not begin earning FY2015 dollars until the start of the 2014-15 school year. With the exception of 210-day employees, ten-month employees will see the increase in the first pay day in September. The excepted 210-day folks will see it one pay period earlier.
The use of a summer escrow is not new. It began with the Negotiated Agreement that took effect on July1, 1997, when the 26-pay day schedule was negotiated. In the event there is interest on the part of any readers to return to the previous 22-day pay plan for ten-month employees, be reminded that the entire Agreement opens for negotiations this coming October and we are accepting suggestions.