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COVID Stipend for Returning Employees
Public Communications | July 21, 2021
Dear Humble ISD Staff,
2020-2021 was a really challenging year. After the state closed campuses in 2020, you returned in August at a most uncertain time with courage and conviction -- taking attendance in new ways, planning for virtual students, planning for in-person students, planning for trailing grades as students changed their learning locations, doing contact tracing, all in addition to your regular responsibilities.
I’m so proud of the Humble ISD Family -- the way that you showed up last year for our students, the way you continue to show up this summer to professional development. You’re ready again to be even better than you were yesterday, and this compensation improvement is well deserved. Our School Board appreciates your commitment to doing what is best for students. Thank you for being the light!
Dr. Elizabeth Fagen
Returning employees to receive one-time COVID stipends of $1,000 to $2,000
On July 20, 2021, the Board of Trustees approved a return to work stipend to address the retention challenges attributable to the pandemic. The COVID Impact Retention Stipend will be issued to eligible returning employees.
This one-time stipend payment will be in addition to compensation enhancements that the Board approved in June.
On June 15, 2021, the Board approved raises for all staff, maintaining the $1,400 stipend for teachers, librarians, nurses and counselors as recognized by House Bill 3 and rolling it into annual salary, and keeping in place the $1,000 stipend for other eligible staff to be paid half in December and half in May.
The Covid Impact Retention Stipends approved on July 20, 2021, are new, will only occur during the 2021-2022 school year, and are not included by TRS in compensable compensation for purposes of retirement.
How much is the Retention Stipend and when will I receive it?
Through the Covid Impact Retention Stipend, the District will pay $2,000 to all eligible full-time teachers, nurses, librarians, and counselors, and $1,000 for all other eligible staff. Eligible part-time employees will receive a proportionate amount of the applicable stipend based upon the employees’ work schedule. This one-time stipend will be added on or before the September 30, 2021, paycheck after the list of employees meeting eligibility has been reviewed and finalized.
Eligibility Requirement for the Retention Stipend Plan
The Covid Impact Retention Stipend applies to full-time and part-time employees who were employed in good standing in the 2020-21 employment year and returned for employment in the 2021-22 employment year.
Employees must be in good standing (i.e., have not been recommended for non-renewal or termination) at the time the stipend payments are made.
Temporary and seasonal employees such as substitutes, tutors, etc. are not eligible, with the exception of Guest Teachers who regularly worked long term assignments and/or had worked 100 or more assignments in the 2020-21 employment year. These Guest Teachers must return for the 2021-22 employment year for another long-term assignment(s) or another 100 days or more to be eligible for the stipend.
What are the terms and conditions?
Retention stipends are paid to incentivize eligible employees to remain employed with the district through the 2021-22 employment year given the challenges and impact of COVID-19 on personnel. In exchange for the receipt of the stipend payment, an employee agrees to remain employed through the end of the 2021-22 employment year. Absent extenuating circumstances approved by HR, an employee who separates or leaves their employment with the District prior to the end of the 2021-22 employment year may be required to reimburse the stipend to the District from any remaining pay owed to the employee.
Please note that this one-time stipend payment is not included by TRS in compensable compensation for purposes of retirement.
What if I plan to retire at the end of the 2021-2022 school year?
If an employee is retiring and completes the online Retirement Form found on the District’s website by April 1, 2022, then Humble ISD will not seek reimbursement of the retention stipend as long as the employee finishes his/her assigned employment calendar as an employee in good standing. Humble ISD's promise not to seek reimbursement is in exchange for the employee's early retirement notice and to incentivize employees to notify the District as early as possible so that the campuses can make staffing decisions for the next year.
What if I plan to resign during the 2021-2022 school year or at the end of the 2021-2022 school year?
Employees generally will be expected to work through the end of the 2021-2022 employment year in order to keep the retention stipend. For mid-year resignations beyond the control of the employee, such as moving due to a spouse’s job transfer and relocation to another city, reimbursement may be waived at the discretion of the HR review committee. All other resignations will be taken into consideration on a case-by-case basis.