Furloughs affecting the bottom line

By Laura Ann Sills - email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A day off of work may sound like heaven to some, but for employees being furloughed, it means some smaller paychecks.

For staff in Harris County's school system, the furloughs have meant more than a week without pay.

Teacher, Sarah Walsworth, says, "It's a little bit of a difference because it's coming out of 5 pay periods or 6 pay periods and that's a huge difference."

Tuesday, the Muscogee County Board of Education will vote on 3 additional days without pay, they are calling them work schedule adjustment days.

Richard Green, Principal at Midland Middle School, says the pay cuts have affected everyone he comes in contact with, "Everything that I do for the Green family financially I have to plan better.  It's a piece of income I'm not accustomed to not having."

"Being single and having to worry about your budget, if there's no other income at your home but you, so that's made a bit of a difference. I'm eating out less, not doing quite as much on the weekends," says Walsworth.

But, for her, and some other teachers WTVM spoke with, the alternative is worse.

"I don't like them, but I'd rather take them and keep as few kids in the classroom, besides cutting teachers."

Krissy Keller has been teaching English at Harris County High School for four years, and, for the future, she plays a mind game to stay positive, "I am expecting 6 more days next year.  That way I can't get my feelings hurt if we don't.  I can't get my hopes up."

Green admits he doesn't know what the future holds, "We know that it might not be better next year. We've already started discussing next year and know we need to make adjustments here at school, the county needs to make adjustments. And, how we need to prepare, if it comes to that then we will be prepared, and if it doesn't, we will thank our lucky stars."

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