School employees in Pasco County might not have to take two unpaid furlough days after all.
Contract negotiations resumed Wednesday night between United School Employees of Pasco and the school district, and the furlough days were one of the first issues dealt with.
Kevin Shibley, director of employee relations for the district, said the district has found other ways to cover the $3 million savings that furlough days would provide.
Some of the money will come from the district's fuel tax reimbursement and by shifting some expenses from the operating fund to food and nutrition services, Shibley said.
Two other sources of savings require agreement from the union. Those involve changing when health insurance coverage ends for employees who resign and ceasing to allow new hires to bring accumulated sick leave from other school districts.
The school board had included the furlough days as a cost-savings measure when it approved the 2012-13 budget.
As contract negotiations continue, another issue is a union request that employees be given a one-time pay supplement this year. School employees last had a raise in 2007.
Shibley said Superintendent Kurt Browning and the school board would like to give employees extra pay, but finding the money could be problematic.
"We feel we did a herculean task in finding the money for those furlough days," he said.