RUMFORD — Regional School Unit 10 administrators have not received bonuses using COVID-19 funds, Superintendent Deb Alden said by email this week, but some other employees did receive payments using relief funds.

In May 2021 administrators “put in time they had worked since March 2020 through May 2021 that was above 60 hours per week and due to COVID. They were paid for their time per-diem,” Alden wrote.

Teachers and other school staff, however, were paid for their overtime using COVID-19 relief funding.

“We also paid teachers for additional time, per hour, as what is negotiated in their contract as Curriculum Work Wage for professional development and planning for remote instruction.”

Alden noted that COVID-19 funds were used for $1,000 retention bonuses paid to bus drivers and custodians and $700 payments to the district’s school nutrition staff, who also received the additional pay if they had to work more hours than their usual during the pandemic.

According to Alden, some of the “excess” COVID-19 funding of “approximately $300,000” was approved by the school board and the Western Maine Education Association on Dec. 13 to be used for payments to teachers, educational technicians, secretaries and technology staff of $1,000 or $400 each, depending on how long they have been employed. Those employees were to receive the extra money in their checks this week.

RSU 10 Board of Directors Chairman Greg Buccina in an email said relief “funds were used to compensate (employees of the district) who exceeded above normal working hours during the height of the pandemic in early (2020 and 2021).”

Besides the general staff from the district, those teachers “who worked above and beyond” general working hours also had the opportunity to be compensated with a wage adjustment from COVID-19 funds.

“The RSU 10 board (of directors) made clear that it wanted no current or upcoming budget monies be used for these types of payments (for our employees),” Buccina said.

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