PCSSD - Certified Personnel Policy Committee Minutes: June 09, 2015

Certified Personnel Policy Committee Minutes: June 09, 2015

Present: Chairperson Pam Fitzgiven, Judy Stockrahm, Renee George, Paul Brewer, Robert Austin, and Bill Goff

I. Call to order: 11:43 a.m.

Brewer shared that he will be casting proxy votes for Dr. Warren and Superintendent Guess.

II. Board Proposals

  1. Paychecks:
    Bill Goff attended today’s meeting to help answer questions about paychecks and proposed bank cards
    • Robert Austin asked if there would be a charge to the employees. Bill Goff indicated that there could be if there were too many transactions just like any other bank card.  
    • According to Bill Goff, there are only 74 certified employees that receive paper checks. The rest of the employees are classified and the Classified PPC voted to accept the proposal.
    • The two banks the district thinks has the best offer on bank cards are Arvest and First Arkansas Bank and Trust or an employee can use their bank of choice. The district would earn .25% interest on the money that is placed in the bank card accounts.
    • Robert Austin asked Bill Goff if anyone has asked the personnel that receive paper checks how they feel. Bill Goff stated no.
    • Chairperson Fitzgiven asked whether or not a penalty or charge would be incurred on the employee if he/she wanted to withdrawal all of their money at once.  Bill Goff said that was his main concern and the answer is no.
    • One problem with paper checks is if people do not pick up their pay checks, it is mailed out and addresses are not always updated.
    • Motion: Paul Brewer made a motion to accept the board proposal as a policy for certified employees to either have their checks directly deposited or to have a bank card; seconded by Robert Austin. Motion carries with a unanimous vote.
  2. Insurance:
    • Chairperson Fitzgiven stated that she does not agree with the proposed language change for insurance. It is not clear what benefits we will receive and all employees should know exactly what benefits will be afforded them.
    • Bill Goff stated we are complying with what the law states about providing health insurance. The other five products can be adjusted by the district. The proposed language would allow the district to have flexibility in what they will offer the employees.
    • Robert Austin stated the proposed language change was vague and left the district with too much flexibility and leaves the employee with an uncertainty of insurance coverage.
    • Chairperson Fitzgiven reminded the Committee that the insurance package that we have is what the district wanted when they negotiated it under the Professional Negotiations Agreement (PNA), and now that employees are actually using the short term insurance that the district provides, the district wants to be able to do away with it because of the increase in cost. She suggested they increase the amount per employee to continue with the insurance package they wanted to offer them to begin with.
    • According to Bill Goff the average cost to the district per employee is $47.
    • After much discussion, a motion was made.

      Motion: Paul Brewer made a motion to accept the board proposal to change the policy to allow the district to have flexibility with the benefits the district provides for certified employees. Motion failed for lack of a second.

      Motion: Robert Austin made a motion to reject the board proposal to change the language in the policy dealing with insurance benefits; seconded by Judy Stockrahm. Robert Austin called for roll call vote:
      Superintendent Guess-No
      Renee George-Yes
      Judy Stockrahm-Yes
      Janice Warren-No
      Paul Brewer-No
      Robert Austin- Yes
      Chairperson Fitzgiven- Yes

      Motion carried in a 4 to 3 vote.

  3. Salary Schedule:
    • Goff explained the proposed salary schedule versus what we have. A fixed dollar increment schedule will make our salary schedule more competitive with area districts. No proposals made to top administrative salaries.
    • Chairperson Fitzgiven stated that it has been said on numerous occasions by more than one person that the Board has never given salary increases to employees who were in State take-over for fiscal distress.  She also asked Bill Goff that if the district had been giving a 2% to the base of the salary schedule for the past four years, wouldn’t step 1 reflect roughly the same dollar amount that is being proposed right now? He stated it would. Chairperson Fitzgiven went on to state that not only would we be competitive at step one, but we would be more than competitive at the top of the salary schedule. Bill Goff agreed.
    • Chairperson Fitzgiven reminded the Committee that a flat dollar amount to the schedule is NOT fair and equitable. Beginning teachers would receive a larger percent increase while those with more experience receive a smaller percent pay increase. Our goal should not only be to attract new teachers, but to give teachers a reason to remain and stay committed to teaching in our district.
    • Chairperson Fitzgiven asked Bill Goff if the majority of the teachers in PCSSD were at the top of the pay scale in the middle around the Masters lanes. Bill Goff stated yes. She reminded the Committee that the majority of the teachers in the district would be greatly affected by this pay schedule in that the majority would get very little of a pay increase while the rest would receive a much larger increase.
    • Chairperson Fitzgiven also reminded the Committee that retirement is based on the average of the three highest salaries which is usually the last 3 years on the pay schedule. This would greatly affect those that are ready to retire. After much discussion, a motion was made.
    • Robert Austin explained that in the days since this proposal had been emailed to teachers, he had asked numerous teachers how they wanted him to vote on this issue. Austin stated that while he does have certain problems with the administration’s proposal, he could not ignore his responsibility to represent the wishes of the teachers who elected him to serve on the PPC and that 100% of those teachers he had spoken to, during this time, told him that they wanted him to vote for it.
    • Motion: Robert Austin made a motion to accept the proposed salary schedule; seconded by Paul Brewer. Judy Stockrahm called for a roll call vote: 
      Janice Warren: Yes
      Paul Brewer: Yes
      Superintendent Guess: Yes
      Renee George: Yes
      Robert Austin: Yes
      Judy Stockrahm: No
      Chairperson Fitzgiven: No

      Chairperson Fitzgiven stated her vote is not a vote against a pay increase for teachers. It is vote against how the district wants to give that increase. “Teachers deserve a fair and equitable salary increase. A Percentage added to the base would have been the best way to do this. If we would have had a 2% increase as asked for before over the past four years, we would be competitive. Teachers deserve a pay increase, but it needs to be fair and equitable to all teachers”.

      Motion carried in a 5 to 2 vote.

III. Make-up Days/Hours:

Chairperson Fitzgiven shared with the Committee two emails from teachers regarding inclement weather make-up days. The teachers suggested that we add an hour on to the day to avoid adding days to the end of the calendar in order to either dismiss early or to dismiss at the end of May. The Committee discussed this and decided not to make any changes to the 2015-2016 calendar regarding inclement weather.

IV.Adjournment: 12:55 p.m.

Motion to adjourn was made by Judy Stockrahm; seconded by Robert Austin. Motion carried.

Minutes submitted by Judy Stockrahm, Secretary Certified PPC