Dear MVSA Members, Teacher and Parent community,
We would like to take a moment to thank everyone who attended our last monthly meeting. We understand that the meeting went a bit longer than we had originally planned, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. With heavy hearts, the Board of Directors of MVSA cast their votes to regretfully eliminate the lab technician position. Our hearts break to have to let go of them as an MVSA employee. While we will still be here to offer our assistance, our volunteer organization is unfortunately unable to handle the liabilities required for running her payroll. This issue is getting more serious after the new law passed in 2019. We will address the details and other concerns in the later part of the letter.
However, we will strive to make sure our kids continue to have zero learning loss and even enrich their learning continuously as always. MVSA will continue to support the Computer Lab and offer the following support:
- Use MVSA funds to purchase new computers and equipment.
- Provide volunteers to help maintain the computers and ensure they are functioning properly.
- Promote the use of the computer lab to parents and the wider community with recommendation from teachers
- Organize training sessions for teachers and staff to help them use the computer lab effectively.
- Raise awareness of the importance of computer literacy and digital skills through certified computer professionals.
Factors behind this decision:
Please note the neighboring PTOs/PTAs or any other PTA organization country wide only provides resources and support to parents, teachers and students, these organizations do not run payroll for teachers, as this is the responsibility of the school district or state government. MVSA has been in this unique situation for years.
The primary liability for the MVSA if we run payroll for teachers would be to ensure that the payroll is accurate and compliant with all relevant laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This includes making sure that all wages are paid on time and that the correct deductions are taken from employees’ paychecks. MVSA may also be responsible for paying employment taxes, filing related paperwork and issuing pay stubs or other documents as required by law. MVSA will also be liable for any errors or omissions related to payroll, such as incorrect or late payments. Finally, MVSA should also be aware of any state or local laws that may apply to the payroll process.
Please note that the sudden law or employment change that triggered the discontinuation of payroll for Ms. Nagata was the implementation of the California - Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2019. This law requires employers of domestic workers, such as teachers, to provide benefits such as health insurance and paid time off, as well as comply with minimum wage, overtime, and other labor laws. In addition, California also requires employers to pay a portion of the employee’s Social Security and Medicare taxes. These new requirements were too burdensome for a school PTO, such as MVSA. So they decided to discontinue the payroll. In addition to increased paperwork and liability, it could also mean additional cost to MVSA for using PayChex for us to be compliant and ready for this.
The recent MVSA meeting stirred up a lot of emotion and miscommunication. We wanted to clarify a few important points:
- This was not a decision taken lightly or on the spur of the moment.
- We have discussed the topic in our monthly meetings, however, it's unfortunate that we don't see many attendees beyond the members.
- MVSA is not making a decision based on feelings, but rather a difficult decision motivated by facts and changes in employment regulations, which can be a lot of burden for any PTO organization. In addition, we did not have any nominations for the Treasurer for next year which posed a great risk in continuation of this employment.
- Please note while during the meeting we all only focused on the decreasing reserve funds, the Board of Directors voted yes to eliminate the role due to compliance and liability reasons primarily. However, if anyone wants to understand more about the depleting reserves, please feel free to reach us and we look forward to help you.
We deeply regret having to make the difficult decision to eliminate the lab technician role.
We understand that this decision was difficult for both parents and teachers and we are saddened by it as well. Unfortunately, due to the complex nature of employment regulations, the volunteer-run organization MVSA cannot take on the responsibility of employing directly.
We hope that parents and the community can understand our position and make a request to the school to employ the Lab Technician directly like they employ part-time yard duties and other positions. We will also continue to work with the Principal and the Lab Technician to explore different options so that they can continue to be part of our community and our kids’ lives.
MVSA Board of Directors