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All CMS employees won't receive maximum retention bonus

Some employees won't meet requirements outlined by CMS leadership to get the bonus.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — By the end of February, thousands of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools employees will receive another installment of retention bonuses. 

The CMS Board voted unanimously at Tuesday night's school board meeting to double the bonuses approved back in December.

CMS increased full time staff retention bonuses from $2,500 to $5,000. It also increased part time staff $1,250 to $2,500.

There are requirements, outlined by the CMS Human Resources Department, that employees must meet to get their bonuses.

Full-time staff 

The highest payout for full-time staff is $5,000.

Full-time staff employed by Oct. 31, 2021, are eligible to receive $5,000.

These staff members already received one payment of $1,250 in December.

They will receive three additional payments of $1,250 in February, September, and November.

Staff must be employed by a certain date to receive each additional installment. 

  • If you start with the district after Dec. 31, 2021, you will receive three $1,250 payments totaling $3,750. 
  • If you start after July 31, 2022, you will receive two $1,250 payments totaling $2,500.  
  • If you start after Sept. 30, 2022, you will receive $1,250.

The increased retention bonus also allows guest teachers a chance to get paid. They are only eligible for three payments, those in February, September, and November 

Part-time staff 

The highest payout for part-time staff is $2,500. 

Part-time staff employed by Oct. 31, 2021, are eligible to receive $2,500. 

These staff members already received one payment of $625 in December.

They will receive three additional payments of $625 in February, September, and November.

Staff must be employed by a certain date to receive each additional installment. 

  • If you start with the district after Dec. 31, 2021, you will receive three $625 payments totaling $1,875. 
  • If you start after July 31, 2022, you will receive two $625 payments totaling $1,250.  
  • If you start after Sept. 30, 2022, you will receive $625.

The Mecklenburg Association of Educators believes increasing CMS retention bonuses is a short-term stopgap for a big problem. 

“I did see some people on social media that retired this year saying they might have reconsidered if they [had] known it was coming," Rae Legrone, Mecklenburg Association of Educators Vice President, said. "I think this could be a stop-gap for CMS for the next two years.” 

CMS board members are focused on getting more pay for teachers at the state and the county level.

“We’ve already been in discussion with them [Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioner] about increasing the teacher supplement," at-large CMS Board Member Jennifer De La Jara said. "We’ve done our part and continue to do our part, but we need help from our other funding partners." 

No retention bonus payouts are retroactive. Eligible staff must be employed on the day of payout to receive the bonus. 

CMS has now spent about $97 million in American Rescue Plan funding to award retention bonuses to CMS employees.

Contact Shamarria Morrison at smorrison@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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