Rochester Public Schools resolves payroll problem

Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 6:49 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Tuesday, Rochester Public Schools (RPS) and Rochester Education Association (REA) finally came to an agreement on the new payroll schedule.

This comes after a proposed idea, announced last week, that had some teachers panicking.

The original proposal had two parts. The first part had to do with shifting the pay from once a month to twice a month.

“Which can be really tough for some people,” said Interim Superintendent Kent Pekel. “Especially people who don’t make a lot of money each month, to make it work.”

The second part had to do with shifting the months of pay.

“Shifting the pay schedule from August to July and switching it from that to September to August pay,” said REA President Dan Kuhlman.

It is that second part that would have teachers seeing between at least $500, in some cases more, a month for six months, taken out of their paychecks to compensate for a month they have technically already been paid for.

“I was tracking the first issue which is getting everyone paid twice a month and I was not as carefully tracking this question of timing which was where this challenge arose, and so I was sitting at home and started to get these emails from some teachers,” said Pekel.

After several back and forth discussions, RPS and REA say they have come to an agreement.

“We’ll still do two pay-periods a month versus one, but there will be no shift,” said Kuhlman. “They won’t have a shift in their wages for the next five, six months.”

RPS says it wanted to make this change for the benefit of its staff.

“We are postponing this issue of getting our teachers on exactly the same timeline as everybody else for some later work because the two never did actually in retrospect need to go together,” said Pekel

In conclusion, the only change that will be happening is teachers will now get paid twice a month rather than once.

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