September 27, 2005
Getting childcare at the last minute is a challenge. And that’s why many parents were left to do after Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue cancelled school on Monday and Tuesday to help the diesel fuel shortage for school buses. And while it was a move to save fuel in the county, many parents say it caused them to lose money.
The desk of Shirley Ratliff has been empty at the municipal building for the past two days, but not by choice.
“On Monday I had to take off,” said Tameka Wright.
Tameka Wright is catching up on work after being out on Monday. She and Ratliff are among several of the county’s 2,700 employees that had to juggle schedules in order to take care of their children.
It seemed like a good move when Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue decided to cancel school for Monday and Tuesday in order to help with the diesel fuel shortage for school busses. The alert came Friday at 4 p.m. For some parents the warning was too late. Tameka Wright had to take a sick day.
“You have a bunch of working parents that are now going to have to make arrangements over the weekend for their kids to be able to have somewhere to go Monday and Tuesday,” Wright said.
As the news spread to parents on Friday, panic set in.
“They weren’t very happy. They weren’t happy because of the fact that of course they would either have to find someone to keep their children or they were going to have to take off,” said Betty Griffin.
“It kind of hurt the parents’ pockets having to take off for work so actually we’re losing money while they’re trying to save money,” Wright said.
And while it seemed like a good move, the bad timing is causing a lack of production.
“I will not know that impact until next week. That’s when our pay period will end and those time cards will be submitted into our office,” Griffin said.
City Administrator Fred Russell says most likely vacation or sick time will not be given back. He says that is why the time is given, in order to take care of emergencies such as this.