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Remote work comes with concerns for some Palm Beach County school district employees

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Posted at 3:48 PM, Sep 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-14 17:46:09-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — As of this week, the School District of Palm Beach County has received 1,929 applications seeking remote work once brick-and-mortar instruction begins next Monday.

That's according to Dr. Gonzalo La Cava, the Chief of Human Resources for the school district.

La Cava added that 1,500 applications have been considered eligible for remote work. Now the question is whether there are enough remote positions available for all who have been approved so far.

"We don’t even know what’s going on, what’s going to happen, what’s the next step. If we get approved or anything," said a school district employee who wanted to remain anonymous.

The employee is an ESE paraprofessional who has been granted the ability to work remotely, but her position is a non-instructional job. She fears there's a chance there will not be a position for her to move to.

"Mainly the letter says that we have to wait for our supervisor. I guess it’s a game. It’s like, when they are passing the ball from one person to another?" the employee said.

She has underlying medical conditions and said returning to her current position in the ESE department is not an option.

"Most of these kids they don’t use masks. They can’t stand masks and also the teacher’s health is compromised," the employee said.

The School District of Palm Beach County said principals will determine first if there's a remote position for their employees seeking remote work at their school. If not, then HR will step in to determine other opportunities. But there is no guarantee as stated in the approval letter employees are receiving.

"There is bus drivers, paraprofessionals, office staff, custodians, cafeteria staff, all non-instructional staff in the limbo. Right now they are playing the hot potato game and we are in limbo," the employee said.