Schools Mull Rewarding Teacher, Worker Attendance

Ohio County Schools employees with faithful attendance could see a raise in their health care supplement if the Ohio County Board of Education approves an incentive increase for the 2013-14 budget as discussed in a special meeting Thursday morning.

The incentive plan rewards all employees including teachers, administrators and service personnel who do not use all of their annual designated leave days in a 200-day work year. Each employee with good attendance all year would receive a $1,325 supplement, an increase from the current year’s supplement of $1,200.

According to board President James Jorden, the raise would offset employees’ expenses associated with inflation.

The incentive plan will be included in the district’s 2013-14 budget, which is currently under review, and will cost the county about $150,000 in expenditures for about 720 employees. The health care supplement will be presented as a line item in next year’s budget, which is up for approval in May.

“I think across the board, we have federal cuts and we know we’ll have 5-percent cuts in the federal budget. There’s still dialogue with state cuts, but doing the math, if we increase the health care supplement, it would keep up with rate of inflation and it would be a nice increase for teachers and service personnel,” Jorden said. “Four months ago we were counseled by the state board to be careful with large expenditures, but I think with the health care supplement, the employees would really appreciate it and it’s something we can do.”

According to Superintendent Dianna Vargo, the health care supplement has to be reviewed by the board each year to ensure the district has the funds to support it.

“If funds are not available or the board decides not to provide it to employees, then we would not vote on this,” Vargo said. “Based on today’s discussion, the board is looking at providing the health care supplement for employees.”

In other business, the board met behind closed doors for one hour to discuss legal updates.