March 20th, 2020 4:35 PM
Workers who come into Oak Park and River Forest High School while the village is in lockdown will be paid time-and-a-half. The District 200 board voted 6-1 on the compensation agreement with local unions at a March 19 board meeting. Board member Craig Iseli voted against the motion.
The pay increase applies to workers performing essential services at the high school — from maintenance workers making sure the campus is clean to the people preparing free and reduced meals for students to technology specialists fixing the Google Chromebooks that are essential for students to do online learning at home.
During Thursday's meeting, which was conducted on a videoconferencing service, D200 Supt. Joylynn Pruitt-Adams said the extra pay will give essential workers an incentive to come into work even as many of their colleagues may be at home earning paid leave.
"We needed to have some type of incentive for people to come in versus them saying, 'Well everyone else is getting paid to stay at home,'" the superintendent said. "So it was our way of incentivizing people to come in."
Some board members said the added pay also acknowledges the additional health risks that some workers are taking on during the lockdown.
"I feel it's very fair and only reasonable to provide more compensation for those coming in," said board member Matt Baron.
"Individuals that come in are being exposed to additional risk from a health standpoint," said board member Ralph Martire. "I think we should acknowledge that."
On March 18, Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb declared a public state of emergency and issued a shelter-in-place order. On Friday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that he will implement a similar shelter in place order that applies across the state.
According to a previous Wednesday Journal report, "Under the shelter-in-place order, people are only allowed to leave their residences for 'essential activities, essential governmental functions, or to operate essential businesses.'"
D200 board also votes to give Supt. Pruitt-Adams power to hire essential staff
During the March 19 meeting, the D200 school board also voted unanimously to give Supt. Pruitt-Adams the authority to hire essential staff and take other measures that are necessary to the functioning of the district.
Pruitt-Adams said administrators first presented the measure to the board before Gov. J.B. Pritzker used his emergency powers to waive part of the Illinois Open Meetings Act, so that public bodies across the state can conduct their meetings remotely.
"When we first brought this forward, we had not had the authority yet to do a virtual meeting and this is just in case of an emergency, where we don't have a quorum," Pruitt-Adams said. "This gives me the authority to make sure that bills get paid."
The superintendent said that now that the board can conduct virtual meetings, the emergency measure is not as necessary. Still, she said, the precaution may come into play if a quorum can't be established because a majority of board members doesn't call in.
"This only goes into effect if we can't make a quorum of the board," she said. Pruitt-Adams said that if she's not available to make critical emergency decisions regarding essential hires and contracts, then the emergency authority will be passed to either Associate Supt. Greg Johnson or Roxana Sanders, D200's HR director.
Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and OakPark.com. We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?
On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.
No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.
Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.
To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.
Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.
@William Kunz. Please review HIPPA laws.
By Ramona Lopez
Posted: April 3rd, 2020 10:51 PM
On: Oak Park reports first likely...
Brian Slowiak I know you know how to use a phone and I just...
By Tommy McCoy
Posted: April 3rd, 2020 10:43 PM
On: Second Oak Park cop tests positive...
@ Tommy "Real" McCoy: For the sake of trying once...
By Brian Slowiak
Posted: April 3rd, 2020 8:52 PM
On: Second Oak Park cop tests positive...
I honestly think, that the money spent on culling the deer can...
By Lena George
Posted: April 3rd, 2020 7:13 PM
On: River Forest pursues deer...
I'm in regular phone contact with an inmate at a minimum...
By William Dwyer Jr.
Posted: April 3rd, 2020 6:20 PM
On: As COVID-19 spreads in state...
Thanks for the list. It's exciting just to read although...
By Jean Edwards
Posted: April 3rd, 2020 11:02 AM
On: For your viewing pleasure
View All Comments