BENTE Update, Shutdown Info

BENTE Update, Shutdown Info
March 17, 2020

Sisters and Brothers:

The BENTE Union office is experiencing a high volume of inquiries due to the shutdown, so please continue to monitor your District e-mail and the BENTE Union website for regular updates to the entire membership.

This is a crisis unlike anyone has ever seen.  The leaders at the District and the Union are doing the best they can under the circumstances.  There are people dying from this virus, people losing their jobs and their health care, businesses shutting down that may never re-open. 

Yesterday, I met with Superintendent Dade and there are some things we agree on and some things we do not agree on, but there is mutual respect and an underlying admiration from both of us for support staff workers. 

While we disagree over whether or not the people the District designates as “essential staff” should be paid for hours worked on top of their regularly scheduled shift, we do agree on the most pressing issue: to pay our members during this shutdown so that no one experiences financial hardship and everyone keeps their health care and other contractual benefits.

The District has developed a process to input all of our members’ time centrally.  This would mean that individuals will not need to worry about entering their own time.  If you did not report to work during the shutdown, then Do Not enter your time.  This will be done for you and you will continue to receive your paycheck.  If there are any problems with your paycheck, please do not hesitate to contact me.

As far as entering time actually worked for staff that is required to report during the shutdown, you must enter this time into the system as REGULAR.  Only enter the hours you worked.  You will still be paid your normal hours for the week, but this will provide a record of hours for those who were required to report to work.

Again, the position of the District is that they do not have to pay employees over and above their regular hours for reporting to work as required.  Members who have been paid over and above those staying at home in the past need to understand that this has always been due to a weather related closing.  The language in our contract is specific to school closings due to inclement weather.  

The Board has decided to postpone the Superintendent’s 2020-2021 proposed budget presentation until next Tuesday.  I will be meeting with District officials to discuss the impact to BENTE members next week and will keep everyone informed.

All school board meetings have been closed to the public.  The BENTE/AFSCME Local 2419 Executive Board and Membership meetings scheduled for Wednesday, March 18th have been canceled.

The BENTE Union office will remain open this week with normal hours of 8:00am to 4:00pm. 

Please feel free to e-mail me directly at if you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

 In Solidarity,

Daniel DiClemente, President


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