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GJSD gives nod to paid leave

JOHNSTOWN — The Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education approved three resolutions to benefit district employees during absences due to the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday night.

District officials met in special session, once again in virtual fashion over the internet, to approve a resolution authorizing paid leave under state Executive Order 202.4. The board, acting pursuant to the authority granted by New York General Municipal Law, granted the leave. The law grants to any school district employee idled by the COVID-19 school closure paid leave, without deduction from accruals, for all and any days the employee is directed by the district from reporting to their work location.

The resolution does not restrict the district from requiring any employee to work regular and/or modified work schedules, from requiring any employee to work from home, and/or from requiring any employee to work via an online, electronic, distance learning or other such platform. The leave granted by the action of the board will sunset by April 1 or the discontinuation of the Executive Order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on March 14.

The board also approved a Memorandum of Agreement between the Greater Johnstown School District and the CSEA, Local 1000 AFSCME, Greater Johnstown School District Unit Fulton County Local 818.

Board members also passed a motion to accept the recommendation of Interim Superintendent Karen Geelan to approve a Memorandum of Agreement between the Greater Johnstown School District and the Johnstown Teachers Association.

“This is a recognition this is a unique time,” Geelan told the board.

She said the agreement preserves base pay for teachers, and for some also prorates income from other activities they are not doing now, such as stipends for sports and extracurricular activities.

“There are a few stipends we are paying for,” Geelan said.

She said the agreement also affords payments for certain leaves of absences previously granted.

JTA members must also be notified within 24 hours of reporting back into the district through an agreement that runs through early June.

In other business, board President Christopher Tallon gave a reminder of a district public hearing on the district’s reconfiguration plan to be held at 6:30 p.m. today. It will again be in a virtual setting in which residents must log into the website, providing passwords, to express their comments.

Tallon said the board will meet online again at 6:30 p.m. April 9. By the April 29 meeting, the board should be able to meet at 6:30 p.m. in the Johnstown High School library, he said.

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