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NYC Directors raise millions in OT for work COVID cases

They cash in from COVID cases.

The city’s Department of Education has agreed to pay school officials five overtime hours for each COVID-19 case that required extra work to track and notify infected students and staff — a payout that will run into the millions, The experienced mail.

The Council of Supervisors & Administrators, CSA, filed a complaint last year complaining that principals and vice principals had to take night and weekend calls from the DOE’s COVID-19.situation space‘ – and then had to work for hours to determine which classrooms needed to be closed and which students or staff needed to be quarantined and notified.

The payout comes under an unprecedented agreement negotiated in November between the principals’ union and the DOE. It is at least partially funded with federal COVID-19 aid.

Administrators are seeing the pay rise for each “actionable” case — that is, those that triggered partial or full classroom closures or quarantines — almost a year and a half backdated to September 14, 2020, when the Situation Room was launched.

“They contacted the principals at all hours of the day and night,” a Brooklyn principal told the Post. “We got calls at 10, 11pm” about a classroom or building closure the next day.

Yung Wing School PS 124
As of the beginning of the current school year on September 13, 2021, the DOE’s Situation Room has counted 176,156 positive COVID tests.
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

“It was a very demanding task,” said the headmaster. “In the beginning we had to quarantine all close contacts. If a staff member was the computer teacher and that teacher attended five classes during the day, you had to notify all of those close contacts.”

Rules changed this school year on whether classrooms should be closed and who should be quarantined. Variables included whether students or staff were within one meter of each other and for how long, whether students faced each other in the cafeteria, whether contact was outdoors, whether children wore masks, and finally, whether they were vaccinated .

“It was a mess trying to figure that out,” the headmaster said. “Keeping an overview was another task.”

Each school will receive a list of COVID cases deemed “trackable” by the DOE. Administrators then split the funds based on who handled the cases.

DOE directors start at around $170,000.

Peter Warren, research director for the state watchdog Empire Center, said top managers shouldn’t be paid overtime.

Principal Jodie Cohen presents a mask to a student at James Madison High School
Rules changed this school year on whether classrooms should be closed and who should be quarantined.
Michael M Santiago/Getty Images

“For highly paid professional managers of any organization, overtime pay is virtually unheard of,” he said. “Whatever means are used, they in no way further the education of the students. Otherwise, I’m kind of at a loss for words. It’s something that seems extremely difficult to justify.”

As of the beginning of the current school year on September 13, 2021, the DOE’s Situation Room has counted 176,156 positive COVID tests, including 135,805 students and 40,351 staff members.

In response, the DOE closed 4,931 classrooms entirely and partially quarantined 20,665 classrooms.

But it’s unclear how many such cases will qualify for OT.

The hourly “per session” or overtime rate for principals, vice principals and other supervisors is now $56.50 or $57.18.

The DOE allocated $6.4 million for OT costs last fall, but that’s only for the 2020-21 school year.

CSA President Mark Cannizzaro said in a statement: “During much of the pandemic, school principals worked around the clock because the de Blasio administration was struggling to set up a comprehensive contact tracing process and identify positive cases in schools and get the results quickly.” to pass on to the families. While there is no way to adequately compensate them for the extra time they have dedicated and the sacrifices they have made to keep their communities safe, we are glad that the DOE has acknowledged their immense efforts and you to recognize commitment.”

The DOE would not say how many COVID cases the additional compensation would generate or what it would cost.

Spokeswoman Sarah Casasnovas said: “Our school leaders and administrators have done everything possible to protect their school communities during this pandemic. They will receive this compensation based on an agreement from 2021 for tracking their work contacts and providing real-time updates to families. We have shared information with school leaders on processing payments, their actionable cases and allocated funds to schools so staff are compensated accordingly.”

https://nypost.com/2022/03/05/nyc-principals-to-collect-millions-in-ot-for-work-covid-cases/ NYC Directors raise millions in OT for work COVID cases

JACLYN DIAZ

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