• Duval County Public Schools wants money back after employees overpaid

    By: Jenna Bourne , Action News Jax


    Duval County Public Schools overpaid dozens of employees during a two-year period.

    Now, the district wants the money back.

    “And they’re upset about it. I mean, my phone rang off the hook for a while,” said Chris Stovall, business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 177.

    IBEW Local 177 represents more than half of the affected workers.

    After the 2014-2015 fiscal year union negotiations, every member was supposed to get a 1.4 percent raise.

    But according to the school district, 53 employees were inadvertently paid above the wage cap set during negotiations -- a cap that was “set too high in the district’s payroll system,” according to DCPS spokesperson Laureen Ricks.

    Now, those workers have until December 2019 to pay all the money back.

    “It feels like they are trying to fix the budget shortfall on the back of our employees,” Stovall said.

    According to union records, the workers were overpaid anywhere from $332 to $3,600 over that two-year period. 

    Action News Jax asked Stovall how workers did not notice they were getting overpaid.

    “The way it worked was our negotiations dragged out past the end of the school year. And so, by the time they wrapped it up and voted, they were given all this money in a lump sum. So, they weren’t able to see a week, to week-to-week amount,” Stovall said.

    To prevent overpayments in the future, Ricks said DCPS is reconfiguring its payroll system and has added new processes for human resources personnel.

    Ricks turned down Action News Jax’s request for an interview.

    The union’s fight isn’t over yet; Stovall said IBEW has joined with the Jacksonville Supervisors Association and lawyered up.  

    He said they’re now taking their grievance to the Jacksonville Civil Service Board. 

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