Teachers receive summer pay
The Public School System has released payments for summer pay that is owed its teachers under a 190-day contract with PSS.
However, according to Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada, summer pay could still possibly interfere with furloughed teachers from receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
“This payment may have an impact on your qualification for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. PSS has written to the CNMI Secretary of Labor who is administering PUA funds and has stated its position that this payment should not count as income or earning for the purpose of PUA eligibility. …Questions regarding eligibility should be directed to the CNMI Department of Labor,” he said.
A teacher at Marianas High School reported that they received their summer pay allotments last Friday.
According to Saipan Tribune archives, teachers were not supposed to receive summer pay because PSS did not want to interfere with furloughed teachers receiving PUA benefits.
If the summer pay is considered income, teachers who are owed summer pay under their 190-day contract with PSS may not qualify for PUA or Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
If teachers receive PUA or FPUA and also receive their summer pay, Ada feared that it might be considered fraudulent activity.
Ada explained that if summer pay is considered income by DOL, teachers and staff will not qualify for PUA since summer pay is disbursed like regular payrolls throughout the summer break.
“…It’s money that’s supposed to go to the teachers but there’s a difference of opinion that it is considered an income. If we release the summer pay, it’s going to be considered income, even though that was owed to them according to their contract because they’re on a 190-day teaching contract,” he said.