Investigation reveals financial situation of COVID-19 and impacts on employment of education workers

A new study sheds light on the feelings of public sector employees, including those in education and transportation, about the novel coronavirus pandemic and how it is affecting their jobs, financial well-being and safety.

The Center for State & Local Government Excellence (SLGE) published: “Opinion of Public Sector Employees on Finances and Employment Outlook Due to COVID-19, “Thursday. He reports comments from 1,088 participants, 53 percent of whom work in the education sector and 5 percent in the transport sector. Other occupations represented include administration, public security, service. human and health, parks and recreation and public works, however, the education sector represents the most interviewed group for the survey.

SLGE is a non-profit research organization that promotes excellence in local and state government that can be used to attract and retain talented public servants. The organization said the survey results indicate that the two main concerns related to COVID-19 are preventing families from contracting the virus and staying protected from the virus at work when they return to work.

Meanwhile, the survey found that 56% of those polled said COVID-19 had a negative impact on their personal finances, and 47% expected the financial impact to worsen somewhat or considerably over the next year. The new coronavirus has also had a huge impact on those looking to retire, with 38% of those polled saying they are extremely or very concerned about being able to retire when they want.

As the school bus industry has seen over the past three months, some school bus drivers, helpers and mechanics have been placed on leave and / or unemployed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. .

However, trends indicated that the current economic recession differs from that of 2008. Dr. Joshua Franzel, president and CEO of the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, told the webinar that the 2008 recession layoffs implemented were more permanent, while the layoffs observed during the pandemic appear to be more temporary.

Meanwhile, only 13% of those polled said COVID-19 had no impact on the nature of their work, and 42% said they worked entirely from home and did not travel to the workplace. work or did not interact with co-workers in person at all. Before the pandemic, 82% of those surveyed said they went to a physical workplace.

A School transport news survey conducted in May found that 21 percent of 1,329 readers with job titles of transportation directors, supervisors, school administrators, mechanics and school bus drivers said they worked primarily from home, as of May 15. However, a month-long follow-up survey found that number had fallen to just under half, with 12% of 2,345 people surveyed in June saying they worked from home.

The SLGE study also found that the main perceptions of how the work environment will change in the future are continued social distancing, an increase in the use of masks and gloves, some employees continue to work from home and health examinations before going to work. All of these factors are taken into account by the school district administration as well as transportation departments as they develop guidelines for the reopening of schools.

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Meanwhile, the top five emotions reported by survey respondents in response to COVID-19 include stress, anxiety, gratitude, exhaustion / fatigue and loneliness. The survey also found that more than half of the respondents “don’t have much” or “no confidence” in federal government leaders to make the appropriate decisions regarding employee safety during the pandemic.

The survey concluded: “While state and local government employees fear protecting their families from the virus and staying protected from the virus at work, they also enjoy serving their community during this difficult time, believe the pandemic has made the public more aware of the importance of what they do and feels that working in the public sector during the pandemic is a source of pride. Few say working during the pandemic made them consider changing jobs. “

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