CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. — Schools in Catawba County are rolling out a new retention and recruiting bonus program aimed at rewarding current and new employees for extra duties during the pandemic.
In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, the Catawba County Board of Education approved the bonus program from federal COVID-19 relief money for the recruitment of new employees and retention of current full-time and part-time employees as well as substitutes.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic, our employees have been asked to do more than ever,” Catawba County Schools superintendent Matt Stover said in a statement. “With co-workers and students contracting the virus or being quarantined, all staff members have had to work much longer hours and, in many cases, do two jobs at once.”
As a result, all active full-time employees that were employed prior to Sept. 1 and active as of Dec. 10 will be eligible for a $1,000 bonus to be paid on Dec. 10 in addition to a $1,000 bonus to be paid on May 20, 2022.
Eligible part-time employees will receive a $500 bonus on Dec. 10 as well as a $500 bonus on May 20, 2022.
Substitute teachers and school nutrition substitutes who worked five to nine days within a month will receive an additional $50. Those who worked 10-14 days will receive a $100 bonus. Those who worked 15-plus days will receive a $150 bonus. Bonuses for days worked from Aug. 23 through Oct. 9 will be paid on Nov. 23, and each month after for days worked the previous month.
Additionally, new certified staff will get a $1,000 signing bonus. Non-certified staff will get a $500 bonus after 90 days of employment, according to the district. Rae Thompson, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the school district, said the district hopes the signing bonuses will encourage a competitive recruiting process in order to hire "outstanding staff."
“We want to show our employees that CCS is a place where they are appreciated and valued and where they want to continue to work. We hope that this retention bonus will help reward them for their extra duties,” Thompson said in a statement. “With unfilled positions, quarantines, and illnesses, our employees have stepped up to do more with fewer people.”
Stover said the move allows the district to prioritize staff needs.
"We want to thank our staff for their willingness to continue this most important work with our students and families," Stover said. "These incentives are a small token of our sincerest gratitude for the important and difficult work they do every day.”