ESPs Notified of “Pay Gap” at Start of Next Year: Teachers Should Keep This in Mind for 2017-18

By Scott Farnsworth

As promised, KUSD’s Department of Human Resources sent out a notification this past Thursday to give ESPs who have selected the 26 pay period option timely notice that they would be seeing a “pay gap” on the August 31st payroll date at the beginning of next year.  Also, as promised, we wish to help spread awareness of that situation, so that ESPs have time to plan their budgets to cover the four weeks between paychecks.  We were a bit surprised that teachers were not also going to be affected this year, but that is apparently due to the difference between the rules by which hourly and salary employees are paid.  Regardless, such “pay gaps” are inevitable, and teachers will almost certainly see one at the start of the 2017-18 school year, given that the 26th pay period for next year will be on August 16th, 2017.  As was also noted, ESPs at extended-year schools will not be affected, as their pay schedule was “reset” last year. 

Just to be clear, the reason these “pay gaps” are inevitable is simply because 26 weeks covers only 364 of the 365 or 366 days of each calendar year.  Therefore, the pay cycle creeps forward one or two days in terms of the calendar date from one year to the next.  Since 2016 was a leap year, for example, the first pay date for 2015, which was September 2nd, will become August 31st for 2016.  Eventually, after 10 to 12 years, depending on when the leap years fall, the pay date will have crept forward a full two weeks and the cycle has to be “reset.”  The problem is that the number of years in between each “reset” is so long that most employees have never experienced it before, so it invariably comes as a bit of a surprise.

The best that any employer can do is to give its employees as much notice as possible to plan around this event, and last Thursday’s notice is, by far, the best job that the District has ever done in this regard.  For that they deserve due credit – and we hope this notice will also be helpful.  We have been communicating regularly with the District so that we would know when the decision had been made.

Spread the word! – we know from the recent recertification election that, unfortunately, many ESPs do not access their email regularly and, thus, this notification may get lost in the Inbox – especially during the busy schedule at the end of the school year.  A month between paychecks is not a surprise anyone wants to discover only when it actually happens!