ROCHESTER, Minn.- SEIU workers at Rochester Public Schools filled the school board meeting room on Tuesday to make their voices heard.
Russ Lewis is the Union Rep. for the Child Nutrition Group. “Rochester was probably the most hit district for bad weather this year, it closed 10 times which means my folks didn’t get 10 days of pay largely. The legislature drafted a bill, Snow Days Relief Act and the Governor signed it with the intent that the districts would make folks whole because superintendents, administration, teachers, other folks got paid. And a lot of folks didn’t get paid like my child nutrition folks. They live paycheck to paycheck and they get paid once a month. To lose 2 days in March 2 days in April, and soon 2 in May is a big deal. So we wanted to make sure the school board knows we feel we should be treated just like everybody else and made whole and held harmless because the Governor did the same for all school districts.”
The Snow Day Relief Bill states, “The bill also requires that employees who were scheduled to work but did not receive compensation must either be given an alternative work day or compensated for their scheduled hours.”
But Lewis says some districts aren’t being held to the bill. “Unfortunately it’s an act with not a whole lot of teeth. A lot of districts have done the right thing but a lot have chosen not to.”
Rochester Public Schools Superintendent Michael Muñoz says the school is still deciding what to do. “Really it doesn't tell you, you have to one of the things. What we've actually looked at is what some of the districts around us are doing, and some of them are choosing to not do anything at all and some are choosing to pay and some are choosing to give people an opportunity to make up those days. So those are all of the things we're looking at."
The Superintendent says the board expects to come to a conclusion in one of the June school board meetings.