TEACHER ASSISTANT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Effective with the 2011-12 School Year
1) If a TA works overtime, will she be paid for that extra time? Yes. Each building level administrator is responsible for getting prior approval prior to authorizing overtime. If overtime is due to driving a bus, it will be paid based on time sheet each month. Or, will she earn comp time which she can use on future dates? Comp time will not be earned since all time worked will be paid out each month. All comp time previously earned in 2010-11 will be paid out in June 2011.
2) If a bus driver/TA's day is 6.5 hours and she arrives at school at 7:45, where will she record the time between 7:45 and 8:00 (since 7:45 - 2:30 is 6.75 hours). These folks expressed some concern that they won't be paid for that time. Time should be recorded when a TA is on duty. Each building level administrator determines the work schedule for their site. If his/her duty begins at 8:00, then this is what is recorded on the timesheet.
3) Does the grade/step for each individual change on a yearly basis? In Lee County steps change in years when classified staff receive a raise.
4) Is it the intention of the state to eventually get our pay up to the level of the step we are on/should be on? The state does not mandate steps for classified staff. They only provide minimum & maximum rates of pay for each category. The steps were developed in Lee County for classified staff as a local decision for the benefit of our employees. All units do not have steps for their classified staff.
5) Why is our pay schedule being changed from the equal monthly payment plan to an hourly plan? We continue to hear questions and concerns that teacher assistants do not understand their pay and feel like they are not paid correctly. State General Statutes only allow for teachers to be prepaid on a monthly pay date for days not yet worked. A local decision regarding assistants was made some years ago that resulted in overpayments in some situations when employees would leave prior to working through the prepaid period. This should eliminate all confusion regarding the pay for assistants.
6) Will TA's on the traditional calendar have the option of 12 monthly checks? No. All assistant pay will be paid at an hourly rate.
7) According to this pay schedule instructional assistants are only getting paid for 6 1/2 hours instructional time where as this year we were paid for 7 hours. We worked 7:30 until 2:30 without a break which equals 7 hours. What is up with this? The emails included examples & may not be indicative of what every assistant will have on their timesheet. If an assistant works 7 hours, this is what is to be recorded on the time sheet for pay purposes. This will vary by site.
8) Are we going to be required to take a break next year? Breaks are a site based decision, but each building level administrator is responsible for getting prior approval prior to authorizing overtime.
9) Are they still going to adjust our pay for the portion of our day if our assistant pay is more than our bus pay? An adjusted rate will be used for the current permanent teacher assistant/bus drivers when their teacher assistant hourly rate is higher than their bus driver hourly rate for the portion of their regular 8 hour day that they are out of the classroom due to their bus route. The current permanent teacher assistant/bus drivers who fall into this category will be grandfathered in with this condition. These folks will complete a dual timesheet for all their time. Those not in this category and all new hires will be paid their teacher assistant rate for teacher assistant time and bus rate for bus time as reported on two separate timesheets.
10) Will TA's still receive A/L days in advance as normal or will they be earned by the month since they are going hourly? What will happen on Christmas break, Easter and etc.? Will they just not get paid unless they have the spare days to use? The Annual Leave will be the same as always, teacher assistants earn what they are eligible for each month.
11) How will insurance deductions be handled? For 2011-12 deductions will be made from August to June. We will handle deductions for employees with spouse or family deductions on an individual basis.