CMS approves employee retention incentive program

North Carolina

CHARLOTTE (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools approved an employee retention incentive program to recognize employees and encourage retention in the school system.

The money is coming from the American Rescue Plan Act and the Elementary and Secondary school emergency relief fund. Full-time CMS employees to get a bonus of $2,500, with the first check of $1,250 to go out on December 22. Those eligible for the full amount must have started with the district on October 31, 2021, or prior, and be employed as of December 17, 2021.

Part-time employees with get $1,250, and the second half of the retention bonus will be paid in September of 2022.

The administration recognizing many of the employees are physically and mentally exhausted.

“We want to demonstrate a gesture of goodwill to our staff,” said CMS superintendent, Earnest Winston. “In at least a small way to be able to say thank you.”

All board members present voted to approve the bonus. CMS staff says the payments needed to be funded in two payments so they can keep employees that have been working so hard.

On Facebook, some wondered why the full bonus wasn’t given at once and felt they should have received more money. Many districts are giving bonuses to keep workers who are working through a pandemic, while adjusting to in-person and virtual classes.

The bonus from CMS ranks near the top of districts across the state. The Wake County Public School System awarded a total of $5,000 for retention bonuses, so did Randolph County School System. Alamance-Burlington School System is giving employees a $3,000 retention bonus, and Gaston County schools awarded $1,000 to its employees.

“Some are saying, ‘what about Wake County?'” said board member Lenora Shipp. “As that was mentioned, the $5,000, but I’m thankful for this and I hope the teachers and staff know how much we appreciate them.”

“We ask so much of our employees just in a normal year,” said Board Chair Elyse Dashew. “But the past two years have been extraordinarily difficult ones for educators. We are thankful that our employees continue to show up in the service of children. All the money in the world could not adequately express our gratitude but we hope this bonus sends employees the message that we do see and appreciate their hard work.”

Superintendent Winston said that he would decline the incentive package for himself. “There’s more work to do,” he said.

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