Richfield teachers who came to the rescue during COVID will be compensated

by Sheldon Ocker

May 10 board of education work session

Superintendent Michael Tefs introduced a memorandum of understanding to the Revere Board of Education that would provide additional pay to Richfield Elementary teachers who took on extra students during a COVID spike earlier this school year.

“There was a period of about six weeks during COVID where we had no substitutes and didn’t really have a way in our collective bargaining agreement to compensate our employees,’’ Tefs said.

The memorandum of understanding with the Revere Education Association (teachers union) was necessary because there is no contract language that addresses such an unusual situation.

These Richfield teachers, Tefs said, “went above and beyond to solve problems’’ because of a scarcity of subs and the necessity to cover all classes.

In the unlikely event that a similar situation arises, the elements contained in the MOU remain in place.

The board was expected to act on the MOU at the May 17 board of education meeting.

   Juneteenth codified

Juneteenth has become an official holiday at the federal and state level, and Tefs will ask the board of education to follow suit at Revere.

“I will be making a recommendation that we officially recognize Juneteenth [June 19],’’ the superintendent said.

Language in the newly ratified contract between the board and two unions – REA and Ohio Association of Public School Employees – covers Juneteenth for three years beginning with the 2022-23 school year but not this year.

“This would give [Treasurer] Mr. [Rick] Berdine the ability to compensate and allow our employees to offer this,’’ Tefs said.

   Student handbooks

Tefs reminded the board that revisions to student handbooks usually are made at this time of year. However, he added that except for the Revere High handbook, there will be no “significant or material changes’’ to these documents.

“There’s a new principal [at the high school], and there’s a bit of committee work to try and clean up and modernize the handbook at the high school,’’ Tefs said.

   Drivers hired

In April, Tefs told the board of the difficulty in finding enough bus drivers. The district was down two drivers, and any further reduction likely would impact bus routes and lengthen the time students spend in transit to and from school.

During the May work session, the superintendent announced that two drivers have been hired.

Tefs said that for now the district’s driver shortage has been resolved, but that next school year “we are anticipating several vacancies’’ and the search for more drivers will have to continue. ∞