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Examiner
  • School District approves employee benefits

  • As Deputy Superintendent Dale Herl said, “tis the season for employee benefits.”



    The Independence Board of Education approved a number of employee benefits options Tuesday.

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  • As Deputy Superintendent Dale Herl said, “tis the season for employee benefits.”
    The Independence Board of Education approved a number of employee benefits options Tuesday.
    The biggest was the teacher’s salary schedule for the 2013-14 school year. The base salary will increase $125 to $36,125. The district pays an additional $1,200 to teachers who complete the Teacher Academy. Teachers as well as other support staff will also be able to earn more based on experience and accumulated credit hours.
    The other big benefit package approved was health and dental insurance for the 2013-14 school year. Herl said because the district agreed to have its employees complete biometrics screenings, Blue Cross/Blue Shield agreed to cap the rate increase for the last two years. This means that insurance rates only increase 9.7 percent compared to last year. This makes the base health plan premium $442.42 compared to $403.25 for the 2012-13 school year. As in the past, employees have the option of a PPO or HMO and can choose a plan from the district’s three-tier structure. The district pays for the base employee plan.
    Dental insurance will remain with Delta Dental. There was no increase.
    Herl said it is important to note that 2 percent of the total increase is a direct result of the Affordable Care Act. This 2 percent includes the health insurance excise tax, comparative effectiveness fee and the reinsurer fee.
    “We always hate to see the premiums increase, but we have been able to mitigate some of the costs,” he said. “As a school district, our rate only increased 7.7 percent. But when you add the 2 percent increase associated with ObamaCare, you get the 9.7 percent.”
    In addition to the salary schedule and health insurance benefits, the board approved addendums to the collective bargaining agreements for the Independence National Education Association, the Independence Educational Support Personnel and the Independence Transportation Employees Association.
    The INEA and the school district agreed to grandfather in teachers currently on Career Ladder at their current level; communicate with teachers regarding the general guidelines and expectations of the career ladder; move the two DARE officers housed at Central Office to other locations; move the sergeant responsible for all the police officers from Central Office to one of the school buildings; adjust the lunch schedule at the middle schools to give teachers 25 minutes for lunch and analyze the effectiveness of early dismissal days at the high school as it relates to professional development.
    The IESP and the district agreed to increase the base salary for custodians to $14.03 per hour; provide health insurance to employees working 25 hours or more; collaborate with the human resource department to review the evaluation proves; provide training to custodians regarding evaluations, and make job descriptions available for review by employees.
    The ITEA and the district agreed to increase the base salary for drivers to $13.42 per hour; increase the trip pay to equal the base hourly rate; increase the base salary and trip pay for attendants to $10.25 per hour; pay attendants who are assigned to work with students identified as “emotionally disturbed” an extra $1 per hour; provide health insurance to employees working 25 hours or more and develope a program to recognize and promote good attendance.
    Page 2 of 2 - There were also stipulations regarding the salary schedule and health/dental insurance for all three groups.
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