Utah’s Granite School District has granted educators and hourly employees “COVID bonuses” intended to reward their “tremendous efforts” to safely resume and operate schools during coronavirus pandemic. Granite’s board approved the bonuses recently, agreeing to pay a 1 percent bonus to all contract employees and a $100 bonus to hourly employees.

Describing it as “the craziest quarter of your careers,” Granite School Board President Karyn Winder said the bonus is intended to convey the board’s appreciation for Granite District employees’ ongoing efforts. “It is clear that the preparation and efforts that have and continue to be made are working,” she said.

The contract employees’ bonuses will come on top of a 5 percent pay raise and 3 percent bonus previously negotiated last spring. The bonuses will be paid from the district’s reserve funds and will be given to employees as part of their Oct. 30 paychecks.

In a video message to school district employees, Winder expressed the board’s gratitude for relatively low COVID-19 numbers. “We ... are proud to be one of the most transparent districts in the state with our case data,” she said. “Just as a reminder, every Monday morning, our district dashboard is updated. It is evident and clear in our numbers that the collective efforts of our students and staff are working. We continue to see a very low transmission rate occurring on school property and are very grateful for that positive trend.”

Winder said Granite employees are “working so hard” under difficult circumstances where they are navigating new requirements and restrictions, “as well as learning new things along the way. We know and understand that this is not easy.”

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