Some Green Country School Employees Docked For Snow Days

Friday, February 11th 2011, 5:18 pm
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- All of the snow days at Green Country schools mean some people will be missing a good chunk of their paychecks.

The support workers at schools aren't paid when weather interrupts classes and for them the hard hit is still to come.

At Tulsa Public Schools, 1,500 support workers will lose almost two weeks of pay. That's everyone from bus drivers, to cafeteria workers and para-professionals. It's not just at TPS, it's schools all over northeast Oklahoma.

Wanda Mangus and Anita Day are sisters who also work together, at least usually.  Both ladies work in the cafeterias at Catoosa Public Schools, which like most districts, closed down nine days ago.

While the teachers and administrators work on contracts and are paid regardless, for the support workers , the lack of work shows up in their paycheck.

"If they're off, we're off, and we don't get paid at all," Wanda said.

That's a big group of employees in a school, who last had a long weather disruption during the ice storm.

"They were out about a week and two days, that's the longest, that I remember," Anita said.

Since they've been out of work, their next paycheck will include only one day's pay, the Monday before the first snowstorm. They have social security income, but worry about most of their coworkers who do not have a second income.

"And they've got kids and trying to make a living, and so I'm sure it's really tough on them, I think about them all the time," Wanda said. "At least we have a little coming in. It's not enough; we've got bills like everybody else."

Catoosa Public Schools last day of classes was January 31st. While snow is still piled up in the parking lots, many of the roads around the schools are clear.

2/10/2011 Related Story: Routes Near Tulsa Schools Have Been Cleared

For some days, travel was obviously a problem; for others it was hit or miss.

"Every night, you either get call, or you don't get a call," Wanda said.

Now, like so many parents, both of these support workers hope they'll be back in school Monday.

"I'm sure we will, it's warming up," they both said.

At least at Tulsa Public Schools, there's a discussion going on about whether there's some relief; whether they can pay workers now for work they'll be doing whenever they tack the snow days back on.

2/10/2011 Related Story: Green Country School Districts Undecided On How To Make Up Snow Days