When the City of Waterbury approached UPSEU last spring about what do with a surplus of Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) and American Rescue Plan (ARP) Funds, the Union was quick to suggest in a detailed letter to city officials that such monies should be utilized to compensate UPSEU employees who worked through the early/darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, the City of Waterbury agreed and ultimately decided to use some of those funds to recognize BOE employees, “ … for their hard work and dedication in ensuring continuity of services and operations during the public health emergency/COVID-19 pandemic,” the City of Waterbury wrote in a message to BOE employees.
Consequently, the City entered into a written agreement with UPSEU and other Waterbury BOE-union affiliated bargaining units for a one-time premium payment of $1000 to be paid in a single lump sum amount on or about Dec. 1, 2022. To be eligible for the $1000 premium, UPSEU-BOE Admin Support Staff Employees & Classroom Assistants were required to be employed by the BOE when the agreement was fully executed and were further required to continue to be employed by the BOE Dec. 1, 2022 when the payment was actually distributed.
When asked about the $1000 premium, Waterbury BOE Admin Support Staff bargaining Unit President Bill George said he was thankful to the Union, "UPSEU was a big help in us getting the $1000 covid money. I appreciate everything UPSEU has done for us."
“We wished it was more [money]. But we were glad to do this thing to recognize the hard work of our employees,” City of Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary said when UPSEU thanked him/the city for the premium payment.