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Sheriff meets with crossing guards

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Richmond County Sheriff Rich­ard Roundtree met about 70 school crossing guards – his only part-time employees – for the first time Friday.

Roundtree, who took office in January, had agreed to meet with the guards after they voiced concerns about new reductions being made to their paid holidays, but he stood firm on the decision.

The guards won’t see their wage of $19 an hour decrease, but they will no longer be paid for days they don’t work, he said.

Lead guard Susan Smith said she wasn’t surprised that nearly every guard turned out at the meeting. Most submitted reports of how much they’ll lose, including unemployment benefits, if the cuts are permanent, she said.

One guard tossed a coin toward the sheriff, saying it was his last. Another praised Smith for her leadership and “putting her job on the line” for the guards.

Others complained about the sheriff’s corporal assigned to supervise them. Round­tree said to take their concerns about the supervisor to Chief Deputy Pat Clayton.

Roundtree said the pay issues could be resolved if the Richmond County Board of Education increased its reimbursement for the services or took over the crossing guard force altogether.

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Riverman1
82451
Points
Riverman1 06/01/13 - 03:30 am
7
0
It's a positive that

It's a positive that Roundtree met with them and listened. There's not much more he can do except be available to them. We all feel for the crossing guards, but the job is what it is.

rational thought trumps emotion
2549
Points
rational thought trumps emotion 06/01/13 - 04:36 am
7
0
Crossing Guards are being unrealistic

The RCBOE School Bus Drivers are paid $13.00 per hour, Deputies are paid around $16.50 per hour and yet these crossing guards have been paid over $19.00 per hour for quite some time. Columbia County pays their crossing guards around $11.00 per hour. If I were a part time school bus diver, I would jump at the chance to have the much easier crossing guard job at far greater pay.

I understand why the Sheriff allowed their pay to remain as is, over $19.00 per hour because cutting it would allow legal issues to arise. However, he is 100% correct to stop paying them for days they aren't even working such as holidays, furlough days, masters week, etc. - No company pays part time hourly employees when they aren't at work.

Yes, they are appreciated but their requests are way out of line. Furthermore, these jobs were handled by volunteer students many years ago, maybe we should look for volunteer parents to take it over.

The Sheriff is making some tough and just decisions that may not be popular with the guards but he is correcting what should never have been allowed to begin with.

Riverman1
82451
Points
Riverman1 06/01/13 - 11:34 am
2
2
No Need to Create Hostility

"If I were a part time school bus diver, I would jump at the chance to have the much easier crossing guard job at far greater pay."

"Furthermore, these jobs were handled by volunteer students many years ago, maybe we should look for volunteer parents to take it over."

Rational, I hear you, but I'd be careful about denigrating what they do saying they have easier jobs than bus drivers. That just creates hostility. It's better the way the Sheriff handled it by explaining the finances and saying there's nothing he can do. Plus he left it open about reeling in their police officer supervisor. It could be this supervising officer is reflecting the theme in the department that you stated with your comments. That would be a mistake.

rational thought trumps emotion
2549
Points
rational thought trumps emotion 06/01/13 - 02:32 pm
4
0
River

I hear ya but come on now....Drive a bus (major responsibility) and supervise 100 students for more than an hour or so while driving...pay, $13.00 per hour in the SAME COUNTY where if you help children cross the street, you are paid over $19.00 per hour and you are paid on holidays, furlough days, etc. -- My personal belief as a taxpayer is this was long overdue and they are still overpaid.

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