Brenda Brown, director of the unemployment insurance program for the Georgia Department of Labor said when the Reduction in Force goes into effect, affected school system employees will be able to come in to the DOL Career Center in Rome and file claims.
“We have a law that denies education workers if they (have) reasonable assurance of returning to work, but it sounds like these people don’t have any reasonable assurance of returning,” Brown said. “As long as they are able, available and actively seeking work they should be entitled to benefits.”
Each claim is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Brown said the GDOL would be talking with the school system to see if any of the employees would be called back.
GDOL spokesman Sam Hall said part-time workers, bus drivers, custodial staff and cafeteria staff, also would likely be eligible for unemployment benefits.
“As long as they have enough reported wages to validate their claim for
benefits,” he said. “Each of the cases, whether they are full-time or part-time, are evaluated on their merits.”
Floyd County Schools spokesman Tim Hensley said the school system has
included $535,000 in its Fiscal Year 2014 budget to pay for unemployment claims.
Hensley said the system is working with groups such as the Professional Association of Georgia Educators and the Georgia Association of Educators to help the employees that are being laid off at the end of June.
“We’re trying to work mostly with the people who do this all the time,” Hensley said. “People who are better-equipped to handle some of the questions than we would be.”
PAGE is conducting a meeting for affected employees at 4 p.m. today at Model High.
Hensley said the school system is working with the GDOL and others to help the employees who are in positions that PAGE and GAE do not work with on a regular basis, such as custodial staffers.
Hensley said he hopes to have a flier ready by the end of the week that will help those employees with details regarding training and employment opportunities, sick leave, retirement funds, health coverage and other items.