June 11th , 2013 10:16 am Leave a comment

Plan calls for new hires to pay part of insurance

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Talks between teachers and administrators have yielded a plan to preserve current Carter County Schools employees’ health insurance benefits while requiring new hires to shoulder a portion of the burden.

Photo by Brandon HicksCarter County Schools Director Kevin Ward looks over figures at Monday's budget workshop.

Photo by Brandon Hicks
Carter County Schools Director Kevin Ward looks over figures at Monday’s budget workshop.

All teachers, however, will soon see pay schedules reflecting a greater emphasis on evaluations.

The Board of Education heard the details Monday afternoon of collaborative conferencing talks between system administrators and teacher representatives concerning salaries, insurance and other benefits.

Secondary Supervisor Danny McClain and Special Education Director Carol Whaley presented the final draft from the collaborative conferencing sessions to the school board.

According to the draft, professional employees currently employed by the system will receive 100 percent coverage for their individual insurance and the board will pay 66.5 percent for family coverage. Non-certified employees already in the system will receive the same coverage.

However, new employees hired after June 30 will have to pay 7 percent of their health insurance costs for individual coverage and 40 percent of the cost of family coverage.

Employees already in the system are eligible for 10 years of coverage for dental, health and life insurance when they retire if they are at least 55 years old or have at least 25 years of service and have been employed by the Carter County School System for at least 15 years, with the last 10 years occurring before retirement.

Employees hired after July 1 will be eligible for five years of dental, health and life insurance after retirement.

“That is something that is being phased out,” McClain said.

For salary, all professional and paraprofessional employees’ salaries would be recommended by the director of schools and approved by the school board on a yearly basis. For the 2013-2014 school year, the pay schedule will be the same as the 2012-2013 school year.

Whaley noted that while this upcoming year’s salary would be based on the teachers’ years of service and degrees held, that would not be the case in the future, based on recommendations from the state.

She said school systems would have to develop new pay schedules for the 2014-2015 school year that would have to be submitted to the state for approval.

“They are recommending there be not as much focus on step increases and increases for advanced degrees, and more emphasis on evaluations,” Whaley said.

If a teacher is given a 3 or lower ranking on an evaluation, they would not be eligible for an increase starting in 2014; those getting 4 or 5 rankings would be eligible for raises.

Whaley explained that under the new pay schedule, current employees would not be paid less than they are now. Any new increases would be given based on evaluation scores, not the time spent in the system or advanced degrees held.

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