Written by MICHAEL LoCICERO
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 16:26
On recommendation of consultant, staff won’t be able to bank days off
Staff members will not be able to accumulate sick days after July 1, the Cedar Grove-Belgium School Board agreed May 18.
The decision was based on a recommendation by Associated Financial Group, the district’s insurance consultant.
Staff members who receive benefits will be allotted five days of sick pay per year, which do not carry over into the next year.
If those days are used and the employee needs more time, they will then be eligible to tap into the district’s short term disability policy, which will pay two-thirds of the employee’s salary.
“Many districts have been examining their sick day policies, and this is a way to even the field a little bit and make it more attractive for new employees to choose the district,” said Mardi Burns, senior benefits consultant at Associated Financial Group.
Employees will be allowed to use sick days they have accumulated from previous years, but will not be able to save any more days off, according to the plan approved by the School Board.
The sick days would be paid at 100% of the employee’s salary, Business Manager Kris DeBruine said.
“If you’re sick, you’re sick and you’re going to get paid for it,” she said. “But sick days are meant for when you are sick. They’re not mental health days.”
Burns said that establishing a set number of sick days will decrease the likelihood that an employee would abuse the policy.
School Board President Chad Hoopman said the new policy will benefit both new and veteran employees.
“In the event that something happens where a staff member has to miss more than five days of work, this policy provides coverage to keep them whole,” he said.
The board voted, 6-1, to approve the short term disability benefit change for the 2015-16 school year, with Aileen Dahlke voting against it.
The board also approved a recommendation to reduce cash-in-lieu amounts for staff members who waive insurance coverage by $1,086 to $2,400 in 2015-16, with Hoopman voting against the change.
The district will switch its life and long-term disability carrier from Lincoln Financial Group to Mutual of Omaha, which is also providing the short-term disability package.