Orange County

Union, Orange County schools reach agreement after some employees told to return Monday

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — An agreement between Orange County Public Schools and the school employees’ union has been reached after more than 8,000 hourly workers were told they must go back to school on Monday if they want to get paid.

The Orange Education Support Professionals Association, the union that helps protect district employees, and the district confirmed that classified employees who can’t work between March 23 and June 30 will get paid, but must be considered high-risk by the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines and have respiratory illness symptoms.

Hourly employees can stay home if they are taking care of people considered high-risk, have returned from a trip overseas or a cruise, or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

All other employees must return to work on Monday. However, the district must follow the CDC’s guidelines limiting groups of to 10 people or fewer, and make sure social distancing is in place.

Marilyn Fay, a bus driver, said it was a relief knowing there are options. She said her 16-year-old son has had medical issues.

“I almost lost him two years ago to an unknown virus; he spent a week in the hospital,” Fay said. “But this is (my) main source of income, this is how you pay the bills to keep a roof over your head.”

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

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