GFPS board approves employee stipends

The Great Falls Public Schools board of trustees voted unanimously during their May 9 meeting to approved essential worker stipend for many employees.

The board voted to use some of its federal COVID relief funds for the stipends.

The stipend will be $750 for staff who are regularly scheduled to work 21 hours or more per week.

For those who are regularly scheduled to work 10-20 hours per week, the stipend will be $375.

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“Between the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the staffing shortages it has caused, employees at every level have
stepped up to continue the full operation of the district. Through all of the stress and worry, one thing has remained consistent and that is the good work of our staff. This year has come with more long days and nights, work on weekends, support for the increased emotional needs of students, teaching face to face and remotely to support students during quarantine, and working twice as hard to cover for coworkers who have been quarantined,” according to Dattilo’s agenda report to the board. “Due to the extreme challenges and additional workload that all of our employees have faced this year during the COVID-19 pandemic, we wish to provide them all with an essential worker stipend.”

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Employees who were employed by GFPS since at least Jan. 3 and are still employed on May 16, the day the stipend will be paid are eligible.

Substitute positions aren’t eligible since they received additional compensation under a previous board action.

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According to Kerry Dattilo, the GFPS human resources director, about 1,320 employees are eligible for the $750 stipend and about 81 are eligible for the $375 stipend for a total of $1,020,375.

The district is using is ESSER, or federal COVID relief funds, will fund the stipends.

The stipends are subject to taxes and retirement deductions, Dattilo said.