Concordia Parish School District increases unused leave for employees

Published 12:28 am Saturday, March 17, 2018


VIDALIA — Twelve-month employees of the Concordia Parish School District’s annual leave compensation more than doubled Thursday night.

The Concordia Parish School Board passed a motion Thursday to raise the compensation policy for annual leave upon those departing the school system from 10 to 25 days.

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Each 12-month employee of the Concordia Parish School District receives a number of annual leave days based on the number of years he or she has worked for the district.

An employee with one to five years of experience receives 10 days each year for annual leave, whereas an employee with 10 years or more experience receives 15 days’ annual leave.

Prior to 2009, an employee who accrues unused leave days could get paid upon retirement or departure for those days with no set limit.

If, over the course of five years, an employee had accrued 50 leave days, he or she could be paid for those days upon departure.

In 2009 the school district placed a 10-day cap on annual leave, meaning no matter how many days the employee accumulated, he would only be paid for 10 days.

In the school board meeting Thursday night, the board raised that policy to 25 days of compensation for unused leave.

The policy, which affects a few dozen employees district-wide, aroused much discussion at the school board.

While discussing whether to pass the policy, board President Raymond Riley said he discovered that some employees had been compensated for more than 10 days since 2009, and others who were paid did not report that back to him upon questioning.

“I’m going to say this in an open meeting, but some people lied to me,” Riley said. “Some people that got paid lied to me.”

Only approximately eight people have retired since 2009 and required annual leave compensation, but Riley said up to four of the eight were paid for more than 10 days.

“We just want to be consistent with how we treat people,” he said.

Cindy Smith, director of elementary education for the school district, asked if those who the policy affects could have input on its language.

“I’ve asked before, can the 20 people it involves have a voice?” Smith said. “Can they see the policy? There’s been so many miscommunications … about the policy.”

Earlier in the meeting, when Smith submitted her 12-month employee calendar, board member Fred Butcher asked her if employees had been able to review the calendar before putting it up for a approval.

Smith said employees never voted on calendars.

“That’s not what I asked,” Butcher said. “I asked if the 12-year employees got input on the calendar.”

Smith answered no, to which Riley replied: “I’m with Mr. Butcher, if someone has to live with it, they should have a say in it.”

The board rescinded the motion to pass Smith’s employee calendar.

When Smith asked a similar question concerning the annual leave policy, Riley answered, “Yes.”

The board then passed the motion 6-0.