CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Chesterfield County Public Schools will not be furloughing any employees despite starting the upcoming school year virtually.
Classified school employees, including bus drivers and cooks, have been asking questions about where they stand as the district prepares to begin virtual learning: “Will I still be employed?” and “Will I still be getting a paycheck?”
8News learned the answer to those questions on Wednesday. Jobs won’t be changing but the responsibilities that come with them will.
The Chesterfield School Board committed to begin the school year online-only, a decision that has prompted some employees to worry about job security. A county bus driver sent a message to 8News saying that they “haven’t heard anything as of yet, and we are concerned.”
8News confirmed Wednesday that no Chesterfield County School employees will be furloughed.
“No one is losing their job and the school division is actually still hiring,” Sonia Smith, the president of the Chesterfield Education Association, said. Smith works closely with the Chesterfield Superintendent and was given permission to release the information.
Smith told 8News the division has hired 900 new employees since June.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done, matter of fact, we may be busier now than we ever have been before,” she explained.
While job security may not be affected, Smith said the roles for some employees may look different. Cooks will still need to prep meals and instead of picking up students, bus drivers will be delivering the food to different neighborhoods.
This also goes for administrative staff members, those working as custodians and maintenance workers. Smith says the only thing she can’t speak on is temporary positions, like Homebound Services, which is still on hold.
“Even though the doors of the schools are closed, learning didn’t stop and operation didn’t stop,” Smith said. “Everything continued, so the work never stopped.”
Parents and staff can expect a memo from the schools Superintendent Merv Daugherty soon. If a family is in need of food assistance, you’re asked to reach out to the school division and director, so that particular neighborhood can be on a route.
Richmond Public Schools, which will also be fully virtual in the fall, said Wednesday that no employees will be furloughed but, like Chesterfield, their work may look a little different.
“All contracted RPS employees will keep their job. Because of the virtual environment, responsibilities and duties may shift and the new expectations will be shared for each role.“Richmond Public Schools
“We expect to find roles for everyone, which could include delivering meals, or providing transportation in limited circumstances where in-person support may be necessary (students with special needs, for example.) Those plans will continue to come into clear focus this summer, but our plan calls for bus drivers to remain on the job, because we’re all in this together, and we’ve all got a role to play.”Henrico County Public Schools