Occasionally, the FCPS payroll department has to use a salaried employee’s daily rate of pay in a calculation. This happens, for example, when a teacher has to take a day of unpaid leave because she is out of sick leave and so loses a day of salary. The daily rate is also employed when an educator retires mid-year to figure out what portion of the year’s salary should be paid.

The sensible way to calculate a daily rate of pay

You would probably expect that the daily rate would be the employee’s salary divided by the number of contract days. For example, a teacher with a BA and in her 5th year makes $50,000 (2017-2018) and works 194 days. Her uniform daily rate would be

$50,000/ yr ÷ 194 days = $ 257.73/day

This makes the most sense, as it means that the daily rate is the same for every workday of the contract year. But this isn’t how FCPS payroll makes the calculation.

The FCPS way to calculate a daily rate of pay

FCPS calculates a different daily rate for each month. First they calculate a monthly salary from the annual salary and dividing the number of months worked. For a 10 month employee such as a teacher, the monthly salary is the annual salary divided by 10. The 5th year teacher with a BA makes $5,000.00 per month.

Then to calculate the daily rate for each month, FCPS takes the monthly salary and divides by the number of workdays in the month. The number of workdays varies from month to month. For the 2017-2018 school year, the number of workdays ranges from 11 in December to 29 in September (which includes nine workdays that are actually in August). The graph below shows how the daily rate of pay varies by month for the teacher in our example:

Why does this matter?

Suppose our teacher has to take one day of leave without pay (LWOP). Maybe she misses five days due to the flu but only has four days of sick leave available. Her pay for the month would be decreased by $172.41 if that happens in September, but her pay would be decreased by a whopping $454.55 if it happened in December.

FEA’s position

We believe in a day’s pay for a day’s work. FCPS employees do not vary how hard they work according to the month. FCPS should use a uniform daily rate when pay is calculated, and we continue to advocate for this change.