Tuesday, September 20, 2005
The Hayden School Board tonight will consider a work-stipend option that would help district employees boost their retirement benefits.
Currently, staff members who work 15 years or longer for the district receive a service bonus as well as retirement benefits from the Colorado Public Employee Retirement Association.
As an employee's salary increases, so do PERA benefits. To bump up their salaries -- and their eventual PERA retirement benefits -- some employees nearing retirement paid their own health benefits, and the district increased those employees' annual pay by the amount of money it would have paid in health insurance.
PERA ended that practice earlier this year.
As an alternative, the Hayden Education Association proposed that staff members have the option to waive their district service bonus to work extra hours for a stipend that would increase their salaries for as many as three years.
Superintendent Mike Luppes said the stipend option would come at no cost to the district, which would benefit from employees' extra work.
"For the right employee and the district, it's a win-win situation," he said.
The district and the Hayden Education Association have agreed on most points except the maximum stipend for which an employee would be allowed to work.
The total amount the district is proposing -- calculated as a percentage of an employee's first year of participation -- is slightly less than what he or she would receive as a service bonus.
That amount accounts for additional PERA costs to the district, Luppes said.
Although the Hayden Education Association "basically is happy" with the overall proposal, Hayden Education Association president Kevin Dellit plans to argue for bringing the total stipend in line with the service bonus.
"For the amount of work we're doing, we thought it would be worth it to the district," he said.
Also tonight, the School Board will consider a resolution supporting referendums C and D.
Referendum C would relax government spending limits in the Taxpayers Bill of Rights for five years, allowing the state to keep $3.7 billion that otherwise would be returned to taxpayers.
Referendum D would allow some of those funds to be used as backup for as much as $2.1 billion in bonds for school and road improvements and pension payments for firefighters and police officers.
The School Board meets at 7 p.m. in the Hayden High School videoconference room.
-- To reach Tamera Manzanares, call 871-4204 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org