Are we social workers?
Absolutely not. However, in these tight budgetary times, more so than ever before, it behooves us to do everything that we can to support employees and maintain our workforce. As noted previously, many districts cannot hire new employees. Every employee we lose impacts our children’s ability to get to school and home on time.
Now more than ever, we must do everything we can to support employees whom we may be able to turn around — at least for a temporary period of time.
At no time, though, does this become a reason to not take appropriate action in accordance with each district’s progressive disciplinary plan, when and as appropriate. If the absenteeism continues after you’ve done all that you can to support an employee, then appropriate disciplinary steps must be taken. And when all remedies have been exhausted, termination of employment must be the end result.
We think of money as a motivator (and certainly it can be a big motivator), and it seems very basic to believe that all employees want to keep their jobs. But money may not motivate every employee, and not every employee is able, at times, to overcome all obstacles to maintaining their employment.
With this in mind, we say that those who are able to work will. The rest may need a little extra help.
Randy Mazie is director of the John Schee Transportation Center at Miami-Dade County Public Schools. He and his wife, Debbie, also run a school bus merchandise Website, SchoolBusMart.com.
Special thanks to Jerry Klein, administrative director of the district’s Department of Transportation, for his input.