Outsourced workers in Flint schools feeling left out of COVID-19 relief pay – ABC 12 News

FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) – A Flint man is feeling left out of receiving thousands of dollars from Flint Community Schools.

The district approved using some of their COVID-19 pandemic money from the federal government to give each staff member a $7,500 stipend.

One man said that he feels he worked during the pandemic and deserves a portion of the funds as well.

Fred Jackson is proud to serve Flint Community Schools and shows with his attire as a Career Student Advocate for every student in grades eight through twelve. He’s helping them figure out what they want to do after high school. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, that didn’t change.

“I was still doing my job just like everybody else. We weren’t in the building, so I would go into Google classrooms, so teachers would invite me to their classrooms and I would go into the classroom and go over the educational development plan with the students,” Jackson said.

Now, he says he’s not included in a plan to give every Flint district employee more than $20,000 dollars in federal COVID relief funding.

“I just finished my Masters at UM-Flint. I still owe them money. I could’ve used that to pay off my loan,” Jackson said.

Why isn’t Jackson part of it? He said that he was originally hired by the district about twenty years ago, but that changed about five years ago following budget cuts when his job was outsourced and now employed through a third-party company called EDUStaff.

“At the end of the day, we’re all serving the same students. We’re all doing the same thing,” Jackson said.

ABC12 asked the school board attorney, Charis Lee about it, and she said that the board tried to include some exceptions like this but doing so would not be allowed because of legal trouble with the IRS for misclassifying a worker.

“We would be liable meaning that we would owe benefits under our own payroll because now they’re seen as an employee,” Lee said.

The Board Attorney said that unfortunately, Jackson wasn’t the only one. This also means there are substitute teachers, secretaries, and behavior specialists through EDUStaff who also could not receive a stipend.

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