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Fulton School employees get surprise holiday bonus this month


3 percent bonus for all employees to come from healthy reserve funds



December 24, 2012
NORTH FULTON, Ga. – Fulton School System employees will have a little more jolly in their holidays with the system's decision to give a 3 percent bonus, added to the final paycheck of the year.

"We're pleased to be able to do this for our employees – and especially at this time of year. It makes the season just a little merrier," said Fulton Superintendent Robert Avossa. "Our employees work hard every day, and we appreciate everything that they do."

The bonus, which totals more than $21 million for the system's nearly 13,000 employees, will be taken from the school system's healthy reserve funds of more than $200 million. This amount places the Fulton School System among the most fiscally sound systems, with reserves nearly 30 percent of its annual expenditures.

Unfortunately, the budget did not allow an employee pay raise going into fiscal year 2013, but school officials hope the one-time bonus will show employees their value.

"I think I speak [for all the board members] when I say we wish we could do more," said Fulton Board member Katie Reeves. "But it's a great time of year to be able to do something unexpected like this, and I hope it helps everyone relax, celebrate and enjoy their families."

The 3 percent bonus will be given to all current employees employed since Oct. 1, and who work at least half-time. Employees who work in a full-time position but make less than $16,667 annually will receive $500, while those working less than full-time will receive a pro-rated amount of no less than $250.

School board members were not eligible for the bonus.

Based on the salary of a first-year teacher, the bonus for full-time teaching staff will be at least $1,174. This is the second bonus for staff in less than one year. Last February, all employees received a bonus of $500-$1,000 based on a midyear budget adjustment.

Avossa noted the budget process for fiscal year 2014 has already started, and the bonus will have no impact on that, or on any decisions on staff raises for next year. The last time all employees received a pay increase was in FY 2009.

"FY 2014 budget discussions are in the beginning stages and it is not yet known how employee compensation will be affected," explained Avossa.

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