A committee that helped fashion the school district’s employee handbook will now begin to tackle the issue of non-pension post-retirement benefits.
Members are tasked with re-shaping three questions on the matter:
- For employees hired in the 2012-13 school year, what should the post-employment benefits include and when do people qualify based on years of service?
- For employees who were hired prior to the 2012-13 school year, which employees will remain with previously negotiated post-employment benefits?
- For employees who were hired prior to the 2012-13 school year, which employees will see legacy benefits change based on when they were hired and/or the years of service they have completed with the district? For these employees, what should the benefits include?
The School Board had planned to ask an ad hoc Finance Committee to plot the financial ramifications of any changes. But last week, the board voted instead to ask the employee handbook committee to look at the questions differently.
Board member Michael Mishlove said the questions were not of a finance modeling nature, but rather philosophical and social.
"What I hear us referring to a committee is what benefits this district is offering to its employees," Mishlove said. "That's not a financial modeling question."
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School Board President Rob Reinhoffer disagreed, saying the financial analysis should have moved forward as a way of identifying the impact of future benefits. He added it would only be on an advisory basis. He said before the district decides to do anything, he'd like to see the financial impact.
Superintendent Martin Lexmond said the handbook committee needs to identify the district's values and how the benefits line up with those values.
"An important one for me is how we attract the best teachers," he said.
The handbook committee was comprised of teachers, school board members and community members, and built the document that guides teacher-district relations in the wake of Act 10, which eliminated most collective bargaining.