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Fayette BOE to pay employees back for furlough days

It was a time for giving back. The Fayette County Board of Education last week unanimously approved restoring the equivalent of up to three furlough days imposed on employees during the past school year. The number of days to be paid will depend on the number of days taken, since most, but not all, system staff took three furlough days.

The furloughs came as the state reckoned with diminished revenues and passed that downturn on to school systems across the state. Payment for the furlough days will be effective by the end of June.

“Our employees suffered drastically during this past year. A 4.5 percent (pay) cut was difficult, but it was made tougher with three days less pay,” Comptroller Laura Brock said in a June 10 memo. “At this time, our preliminary projected fund balance before year end accruals appears to be in excess of $17 million. In reviewing budget status reports, it appears that many departments will not spend their entire budgets, even the reduced budgets. We have been able to increase our fund balance through operational cuts and, more importantly, with the help of our employees.”

Brock said the action would amount to a one-time payment that could be credited to the FY 2010 school year that ends June 30.

The board also voted 4-1 to review sometime this fall the potential for giving back a percentage of the previously instituted 4.5 percent pay cut. The percentage, the methodology to accomplish it and the effective date will be determined at that time. Board member Lee Wright voted in opposition to the motion.

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