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'Slap in the face': Local union upset they don't qualify for Millard's $1,008 stipend for teachers

Teachers will receive extra $1,008 next month
Posted at 6:39 PM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-23 19:39:52-05

OMAHA, Neb. — Millard Public Schools announced that it would be giving teachers and salaried staff a $1,008 dollar compensation for their hard work during the pandemic. But a local union that represents bus drivers and custodians says they feel under-appreciated, as they do not qualify for the extra cash.

"[Teachers] do a great job and I know their jobs are hard, but when you're giving somebody a thousand dollars and then you're just leaving the rest out, it's kind of a slap in the face to those guys. They've been on the front lines ever since this began," SEIU Local 226 president Steve Owens said.

The school district says that it's the teachers who are getting the extra compensation because they are not eligible for overtime pay. Other district employees, like custodians, are eligible for overtime.

"Not every guy in that district got a thousand dollars worth of overtime," Owens said.

Owens says all the union wants is recognition for their hard work and for all the districts they work with to understand how dangerous their jobs are during the pandemic.

Millard school officials say the money is not much of a bonus for teachers and is more of a compensation for the extra planning and work needed to run both in-person and remote learning.

"We are grateful for all of our staff, and we are thankful we have been able to protect every job in Millard Public Schools throughout the pandemic," district spokesperson Rebecca Kleeman said.

Millard teachers should see their extra $1,008 dollars in their paychecks next month.