COLONIAL BEACH, Virginia (STPNS) -- The Colonial Beach School Board is taking a fresh look at health benefits. According to the policy in place, if an employee works 35 or more hours in one job they are considered full time. However, in the case of an employee who holds two jobs and their combined hours total 35 or more they are not eligible to receive health benefits.
At the January 14 work session Board members reviewed a proposed new policy. The new policy before the board still does not appear to allow employees holding more than one position to combine their hours to gain full time status and benefits.
The policy states, ?Colonial Beach School Board will pay $400.00 per month or any amount deemed necessary by the School Board, towards the premium of any employee who works 35 hours or more per week in an assigned department.?
However, two because two employees and perhaps a third would benefit from a change the board would like to try to offer health insurance to these employees as soon as possible and to ultimately change the policy for the upcoming school year to provide more employees with health insurance.
Interim Superintendent Luttrell cautions that changing policy for the purpose of medical benefits could have a ripple affect on other fringe benefits adding unforeseen costs to the schools budget.
Financial officer Barbara Worrell suggests only looking at the health benefits to go into effect now and revise other benefits for the new fiscal year.
The board agreed that it would be best to see the current policy, as well as a list of employees whose benefits would change with this new policy and the financial obligation it would create. The board intends to look at the impact on the budget before making a decision.
Chairman Tim Trivett urged the board to move this along at the next meeting because at least two employees had been asking the board to look into these matters for some time and one was promised action by January.
Switching roles it was Anne Congdon who was asked for a report on the budget impact and Looney who questioned the contractual obligations to these employees.
The Board hopes to reach a decision at the next regular meeting scheduled for tonight January 21 in the Town Center meeting room at 7:00 pm. Tune into The Journal website for live video streaming of this meeting.
In other school Board news:
At January?s work session last week the Board approved switching E-rate vendors (companies that provide website, hosting and design and internet access) for the schools website. Most of the original companys will stay the same except, by recommendation of the technology staff ?SchoolinSites? will replace ?Edline? in the 2009-2010 school year.
Kathleen Beane of the technology staff also recommended foregoing the instant alert system which would save the School $3,300.00 because it is not eligible for a discount. SchoolinSites offers a program that would use e-mail and text messages to send alerts to parents at no extra cost. ?Parents who did not have either could rely on radio and calling 7-11 or Get-n-zip for updates on school closings due to weather, like they did before instant alert.? said Beane.
School Board member Anne Congdon brought up the fact that many cell phone customers get charged extra for texting and parents may not want the added expense. After some discussion the Board decided to pass the proposed changes, leaving the decision about the instant alert system till a later date.
Tonight?s Regular School Board meeting will be held at the town meeting center on Washington at 7:00pm. Parents who wish to comment on the instant alert system are urged to attend the meeting to speak on this matter.
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