White Ribbon Campaign no Longer Needed — TESD Not to Outsource!

The TE School Board held an executive meeting last night and have decided against outsourcing of aides, paraeducators and substitute teachers for the 2013-14 school year!  This is great news for the District’s children and their families, the employee and the school district community!

Below is the email from the Kevin Buraks to the employees:

June 6, 2013

 
Dear T/E School District Aides, Para-educators and Paraprofessionals,
 
I write to you on behalf of the T/E School Board to inform you that the Board will not outsource our aides, para-educators and paraprofessionals in the 2013-14 school year. This action is in response to what we learned from you on our visits on May 21, 2013.
 
The District will restructure the work hours of the aides, para-educators and paraprofessionals in a manner that complies with the Affordable Care Act and does not result in new costs or penalties to the District.  The 2013-14 approved Proposed Final Budget does not require adjustment and continues to reflect a 1% raise for all aides, para-educators and paraprofessionals, as well as associated PSERS benefit costs. In addition, the School Board is not required to take any action since the budget is unaffected by this authorization. As I shared with you on May 21st, we greatly value and appreciate the contributions that you make to our students and staff every day. I wish you the best for a successful closing of the school year, a fine summer and look forward to seeing you in the fall.
 
Sincerely,
Kevin Buraks
President
Tredyffrin/Easttown School Board
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63 Comments

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  1. Thank-you for doing the right thing Mr. Buraks and thank-you to the Board and especially Thank-you to Pattye Benson.

    Just goes to show what community involvement and citizen participation can accomplish.

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  2. As an Aide in one of the Elementary Schools I feel this letter is very vauge! I work 35hours per week, does this mean that I will be cut down to 25 hours a week in order to comply with ACA? I as well as many other aides and papas do not need benefits because we have them from another source. Will this be taken into consideration so our hours can remain as they are? Still a few questions to be answered before I will feel at ease with the Boards decision.

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    We are TE Reply:

    A good start! keep your white ribbons! A few weeds need to be pulled from the garden!

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  3. WOW…what a surprising e-mail.
    I am happy to hear that outsourcing is no longer an option for the district.
    I do want to hear, however, the specifics and would like to hear how this decision came to be.
    I am still planning on attending Monday’s meeting so as to get all of the facts.
    Again, thank you so much to Pattye and Neil for their tremendous efforts.
    So appreciative!

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  4. the irony here is this could backfire. If hours are cut significantly, then what? Not just under 30 hrs but cut in half? Then the aides lose and the school district may still lose as staffers may opt to leave anyway. The devil will be in the details. While Buraks essentially shooed away controversy at the next 2 meetings, WHEN will someone know what the plan will be? August? July 1st? I agree with outrage, this is very vague. Dont celebrate yet.

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  5. I was on a high about this for about 15 minutes and now I am wondering if it is just that the other outsourcing company realized they didn’t have enough time to comply with the paperwork and hiring and pulled out. (like STS said) And with their backs up against the wall they decided to just cut hours and avoid helathcare law

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  6. First, let me thank Pattye for all she has done. She is such an important part of our community and we are so fortunate to have her. She has brought so many issues to light over the years, and we are a better community because of her. So Pattye, from the bottom of my heart, a hearty THANK YOU!

    Now to address current issues….I cannot say thank you simply because I do not trust anything this administration and board does or says. Your integrity has long been lost, and I just don’t believe there is anything that can convince me otherwise. I think Joanne may be right…another lost contract, or perhaps the upcoming meetings were just too bothersome for the board. I do not however, believe Mr. Buraks comments. Not at all. It’s insulting that the board continues to be anything but truthful.

    The bullying continues. I see the intimidation day in and day out, still, and am more sickened by it than ever. This must change. I am convinced that the board and the big three, (actually 4) must go. The 4th stays under the radar, but he is Dan’s eyes and ears. Yes, we are aware of you too!! Not now, but sometime I will write of many situations that were not handled by the district, or personnel. One issue of concern taken to Sue Tiede, and you are instantly blackballed for your career. Sad, but very true.

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    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Community does matter and I believe that our collective voices need to be heard! The lack of transparency in this process has been overwhelming. When I think of all the hours spent and angst endured by so many in this school district since the May 13 school board meeting, I have to ask why did it need to be this way? Did the Board just run out of time and throw their hands up in the air and think that status quo was the answer? Where’s the long-range planning and vision for the future? Is the solution to the Affordable Care Act to just reduce every worker’s hours below 30? I had a call tonight from an aide who works 37 hours and cannot afford to see her hours cut below 30. She doesn’t need need health care coverage but needs to retain her hours. I had no answer for her because there were no answers in Kevin Buraks letter. Just that he wishes everyone a good summer and hopes to see them in the fall. Will that be with their regular schedule or not — we don’t know.

    As for the intimidation from the administration — that is an issue that does not disappear with this temporary ‘stay of execution’ on outsourcing by the School Board.

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    concerned resident of T/E Reply:

    Ever consider that the whole thing was pre-planned? Scare them with outsourcing so they will willingly accept a 10% or more pay cut and a lousy 1% raise.

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    flyersfan Reply:

    pattye you bring up an important point. ACA is a problem. for all employees and employers. look how that aide who called you is in a conundrum now. Is this what we want. what we need? lets face it, irrespective of any good idealistic intention, and i personally believe there is more to this than that, this is terrible policy emanating from an ever intrusive federal government. Some who voted for obama, our neighbors here in Te may be in denial; some may have an ephany. clearly we have learned first hand the potential and kinetic damage this law has on employment. Cant wait to see how the board juggles the hours. Perhaps some will just say the hell with it and leave anyway

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    Joanne Reply:

    ACA is not the problem. Some on the board tried to use it as an excuse to outsource. Problem is some of us actually read the law and knew their numbers were inflated. “big scary complicated Obamacare” was being used as a smokescreen to get what they really want. Taking 175 people off the rolls and not having to pay PSERS. They have been trying to do this for 3 years and they thought they saw an opening. Blaming “Obamacare” for outsourcing with so much misinformation out there about the law looked like a plausible plan to them. Read some of the quotes in the paper…”we don’t want to do this…our hands are tied becase of ACA.” BS! Two other districts in Lancaster county succeeded in this game. Who runs their school boards? Mmmmmm. One of our school board members said “all the districts are scrambeling now because of ACA” Well look around. is Lower Merion, Radnor or Great Valley “scrambeling” right now? I dont think so. And i don’t believe the school board suddenly “saw the light” i think we will come to learn that they just fumbled this so badly that time did not allow for an outsourcing plan or an affordable healthcare plan to be put in place in time so they are forced now to just cut hours. They will spin it differently but that is my guess of what happened. The good news here is no outsourcing contract is signed. The aids etc now should organize and fight for fair wages and YES an affordable heathcare option. If you read Neil’s plan it is possible without “breaking the bank” . its about priorities and how we allocate the dollars we have. Pension bonuses and adminisrative bonuses or living wages and available healthcare plans for the aids who work with our children every day. Let the community decide.

    flyersfan Reply:

    joanne u are one of those in denial. while it may have been expedient for the board to ax the low sitters on the totem pole ACA is a huge problem.

    Shining Light Reply:

    Not only was outsourcing not a consideration, Radnor just lowered taxes.

    The good news is no outsourcing contract was signed and the aides and paras need to organize to fight for fair wages and an affordable healthcare plan.

    If the administrators and teachers would simply bring their healthcare plan more in line with what people in the private sector are receiving, all of this would go away.

    The administrators convinced the board that this is all on the aides and paras because of Obamacare. It’s really how the problem and the solution are framed. It is about priorities and allocation of tax payer funds. We have administrators who earn wages in excess of many governors’ salaries in this country yet the board remains silent on that, all the while preaching to citizens that we can’t keep 175 aides on the books who make $13.00 an hour. Why are all of our financial woes and therefore alternatives for solutions targeted at aides and paras? Isn’t this supposed to be about the best interests of students? Aides and paras have one on one contact with all students on a daily basis. I have never seen McConnel and he earns $176,823 not including bonus.

    I was very relieved to learn that Neal is not only on board with no outsourcing, he has committed his time and enegy to coming up with a plan. Because Neal supports Pete Connors, this makes me trust that what Pete Connors is putting forth is real and not just a ploy to get votes.

    We need leadership that builds trust. A culture driven by respect, communication and belief in people will relieve the misery of a culture driven by fear and intimidation. If we want to get better we have to continue to uncover and learn the truth. People need to be made to feel like they are a valued part of the team and not dead weight bogging down the progress and prosperity of the system. Whose talents, skills and contribution adds most to the purpose of TESD? Employees who are on the front lines, working one on one with students? or people holed up in their offices pulling in salaries in excess of Governor Christy’s salary.

    We need leadership that respects tax payer investment.

    Aides unite Reply:

    Just a pacifier for now. Pretty positive there is no plan, as they went from outsourcing and not doing homework, to outsourcing to another company to now ah have a nice summer everyone! We will work on this. Please please don’t come to the meetings and make our life harder we really forget how much of a caring community you are. Or that you moved here for the most part for the schools. Better yet the aides are a lot smarter then you give them credit for!

    Administration still needs a major over haul. Let’s be very clear about that and not let that go away.

    Thanks to this blog and for the caring community who stepped up. Do not back down or go away.

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  7. Thank you Pattyebenson and Neal for all your hard work in putting this plan together. It’s a great starting point. I look forward to the finance meeting next week. It should be very interesting.

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  8. I’m perplexed by ‘outraged aide’s’ comment. I watched the school board meeting on TV and aide after aide went up to the microphone and said they would be willing to give up hours.

    So was this just a statement made to get rid of the concept of outsourcing? It sounded more to me like this was a concession. Now you are going to complain about losing hours? Your hours have nothing at all to do with your benefits. Despite if you want them, need them or will take them, they still have to be offered to you.
    PS – if people think that educational programs will never come to the table, especially when stuff like this is taken off, I think you are living in a word of your own. They have to submit a balanced budget to the state. If the revenue won’t go up more then the expenses go up….something’s got to go.

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    Sad for the Paras too Reply:

    There’s no reason to be “perplexed”. The aides that spoke at the board meeting did not speak for all aides let alone the paras. To cut a para’s hours from 35 – 38 hours to 25 a week, which is what Waters said would happen in our meeting with him on 5/21, is a HUGE salary DECREASE. For me personally, this is about a 25% decrease. A para on high end of hours making $20K a year going down to $15K is a hard pill to swallow when you’re paying bills. Some aides will not be affected, many work at 20 – 25 hours right now so they will actually see a slight increase in their pay. I would guess about half of us will see a decrease though, and many a huge decrease. I understand business and numbers. Coming from business I have a whole new perspective on the district and the education process in general and frankly it is not good. I understand that those of us who can and HAVE TO will leave. We will go out and find a position and make the money we need to help support our families. You will see a slow exodus, especially once the letters from HR come over the summer stating our new hours and our pay. I suspect the slow drip will continue into the fall as new positions are sought and found. The education process in the schools will be continually disrupted for a time while the dust settles. There’s winners and losers, here, the losers in the end are the students.

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  9. Echoing CJ’s point above –
    .
    A school director has 3 “levers” to balance the budget:
    1) taxes
    2) employee compensation
    3) the number of employees
    .
    The district just failed at outsourcing which would have effectively reduced employee compensation. The board has to decide whether to raise taxes or cut employees(programs).

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    Shining Light Reply:

    If administrators would simply agree to a healthcare plan that matched their counterparts in the private sector, all of this would go away.

    There would be no need to raise taxes, cut employees or reduce their inflated salaries.

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    Keith Knauss Reply:

    Ray,
    .
    Please don’t assume I think outsourcing is the only alternative. As I stated elsewhere, “Because of PPACA, TESD is FORCED to change by either limiting hours to under 30, offering healthcare or outsourcing”.
    .
    The majority of posters on CM are against outsourcing and limiting hours to under 30 so let’s explore the healthcare pathway.
    .
    Neal’s “bare bones” healthcare plan, if it passes the PPACA’s discrimination testing, is a great alternative. Because it is “bare bones” not many employees will enroll and the cost to the taxpayers is negligible. However, I don’t think it will pass the test and an expert opinion is needed.
    .
    I believe the discrimination test will compel the District to offer the same healthcare plan that the administrators (and teachers and TENIG) have to the paras. If so, I predict the vast majority of paras would enroll themselves and their families at an average cost of over $10K per employee. ($2M!) Why? TE has the better plan at a lower cost when compared to any other employer.

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    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Keith, it is my understanding that the TESD administrator insurance is around $16K per employee. This morning a friend told that there is a ‘grandfathering’ clause in the AFA that could be a way around the discrimination issue. Apparently if the TE administrator plan has been changed since 2010, the District would not have to match the aides/para plan to it. If that is true, that could be a way to move ahead with a ‘skinny plan’ as Neal suggested and not have to reduce hours of employees. Have you heard about this grandfather clause?

    Neal Colligan Reply:

    May be right Keith..I’m not a expert in this area. Thought the self-insurance piece kept them out of this dilemma. However, without the will (on the part of the Board) to explore this alternative…we’ll never really know. Maybe the discriminatory test can be affected by reductions in the existing Cadillac plans offered to some parts of the employee base? The Para offering would/could still come with a different “buy in/employee contribution” rate. I think the key here is that this ACA compliance issue will continue to be an evolving issue. I’d like our elected representatives to remain engaged in this important topic before signing off for the summer and “see you in the Fall”…

    As always, I appreciate your knowledgeable insights…

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    There is confusion around the non-discrimination clause and grandfathering. I read it exactly opposite of how you read it – the admin plan has changed since 2010 so it is NOT grandfathered. We need an expert!
    .
    We have the luxury of being able to speculate without consequences. The TE school directors have to make decisions with consequences. At this time it may be best to investigate and subsequently offer the “skinny plan” with a proviso that the agreement can be reopened when the IRS clarifies the discrimination rules.

    Shining Light Reply:

    Pattye,

    The TESD administrator insurance is around $16,000 per employee????? Are you kidding me? That is beyond cadillac. I don’t think there is a comparable description that matches that kind of a cost. Wow!

    I remember sidelines recently commenting that administrators tied themselves to the teacher plan during THIS board’s time. So does that mean teacher insurance is around $16,000 per employee too?

    I’m getting dizzy. If this number is real, the fact that we’re even discussing outsourcing aides and paras is beyond outrageous.

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    SL, To double-check my $16K per employee cost, I checked with Ray and Neal. Both said that I was way too conservative at $16K — Ray said $18K per employee and Neal said the cost was $19K per employee.

    Joanne Reply:

    There is no disrimination test .
    A. It has not been enforced sinced 2010
    B. this is considered a “seperate class” of employees and does not have to match the union healthcare even if there still was the discrimination clause

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    To add some perspective to TE’s healthcare costs, here are UCF’s costs. TE’s are probably a bit higher since their plan is more generous and it depends on the actual bills incurred by the TE employees.

    Gross Yearly Premium for Medical/Rx/Vision/Dental
    Single $6,672
    Parent/Child $13,138
    Parent Children $14,350
    Husband/Wife $15,569
    Family $16,781

    Of the figures mentioned above, the district pays 90%; the employee 10%. Private employers/employees typically have a 75%/25% split.

    Most people (SL is a great example) are unaware of the cost of healthcare. They have been insulated because their employer picks up most of the cost and their monthly premiums are just a routine deduction on their pay stub.

    Shining Light Reply:

    Hi Keith,

    To clarify, I am well aware exactly the cost of healthcare for me and my family. It is true, that although I knew healthcare costs for district employees was high, I did not know how high until now.

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    Shining,
    Actually, TE’s costs are not that far above average. You may know what YOUR cost is for healthcare, but do you know your EMPLOYER’S cost? Very few employers make that information public. For healthcare cost information see the details of a survey such as that done by Kaiser.
    http://kaiserfamilyfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/8345-employer-health-benefits-annual-survey-full-report-0912.pdf

    shining light Reply:

    Keith, 2012 family of 4 21,000. Employer paid 12,000
    Employee paid rest around 9000. Administrators and
    Teachers pay way less than 9000. They would pay 2000.
    I know exactly what my employer pays.

    Good night Keith!

    Ray Clarke Reply:

    Keith identifies the levers, but assumes out-sourcing is the only way to address employee compensation. Hardly so.

    Neal’s thorough analysis suggests a seemingly excellent alternative. And, with its proposal to have employees contribute to funding the coming PSERS jumps, offers a model that, once accepted by one employee group, could be leveraged across the entire district. (And everyone needs to accept that their situation may change some – the challenge is to fairly allocate limited resources to maximize the quality of the education).

    I fear that the District is stuck looking at each component of each lever in isolation. For example, as I noted elsewhere, the vaunted $50+ million 10 year Capital Plan is an edifice supported entirely by its own bureaucracy, with no visible integration or Board oversight. And next year we’ll be heading into contract negotiations, each in its own compartment.

    With this latest statement the Board has done itself and the community another dis-service. It had become clear that the out-sourcing scheme could not be substantiated. Now though, the proposal references just “restructure”, which serves merely to amplify the uncertainty and hullabaloo.

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    flyersfan Reply:

    Exactly Ray, uncertainty and hullabaloo..(showing your age, wasnt there a show called “Hullabaloo”? years ago?

    With that letter that Buraks sent out, perhaps a note of when the details would be made public? What I think will happen is in july when the aides and paras get their “re-up” letter it will be there and then that their new hours will be defined. Perhaps waiting until then would serve the board in eliminating hullabaloo, quelling the masses and rendering them impotent as summer vacations have begun, and decisions made with out any opportunity for discourse.. Its in the boards power and control now.. They may have the last laugh.

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    Independent Citizen Reply:

    Merriam Webster ‘Hullabaloo’ definition: Din or uproar. Nothing to do with TV other than someone used the word as a title.

    Shining Light Reply:

    Ray,

    Could you expand on your comment that “the Capital Plan is an ediface supported entirely by it’s own bureaucracy with no visible integration or oversite.”

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    Ray Clarke Reply:

    My view of the Capital Plan and the 2013 Infrastructure Update on which it is based, is that it has a wish list of nice-to-have projects that carry forward for the next decade what we’ve become used to for the last one: annual capital spending of $5+ million a year with the concomitant 10% administrative overhead. If past is prologue, this will be subject to only periodic reports to the Facilities Committee with no critical review from the full Board.

    Now, I missed the last couple of Facilities Committee meetings where this was discussed, but where the focus was on the tennis court issue. However, I do refer to the minutes of the last meeting:

    “Mr. Daley presented the updated 2013 Infrastructure Report with minor adjustments made at the suggestion of the Administration and Facilities Committee from last month’s Committee meeting. The Committee approved the report and asked that it be placed on the next Board consent agenda.”

    There’s that Consent Agenda thing again ….. And “minor adjustments”.

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Thanks Ray — The 2013 Infrastructure Report covers 2013-23 and the approximate construction cost included in the 10 year plan is $50 Million! Obviously, the report provides recommendations and does not necessarily mean that the projects will move forward. However, the idea that the Facilities Committee recommend the $50 Million report just be added onto the consent agenda is amazing. I hope that if School Board president Kevin Buraks is reading Community Matters he recognizes that a $50 Million construction plan is far from a routine matter for the consent agenda. I think that the public has had enough non-routine items getting passed on the consent agenda without discussion.

    It’s interesting to note that in comments today, school board candidates Pete Connors and Scott Dorsey both met reference to the misuse of consent agendas.

    Shining Light Reply:

    Yes, thank-you Ray, this information is shocking and I see your point now – it certainly is worth having a discussion over.

    a 50 million dollar construction plan for the consent agenda subject to only periodic reports to Facilities with no critical review from the full board.

    This is absurd.

    flyersfan Reply:

    I am wondering if the aides and paras will now go to the board to fight for MINIMALLY reduced hours.. Then the board will come back and say…”we gave you what you wanted.. reduced hours to save your jobs from being outsourced”…. sticky wickets.

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    concerned resident of T/E Reply:

    When you talk about cutting employee programs, I hope you are including those of the Administration too, because cuts there will get you al lot more than cutting people who make $15,000 a year, not $150,000.

    How about we reduce everybody’s hours by 10-15% ?

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  10. Joanne,
    .
    You mentioned above that, “ACA is not the problem” and as evidence “Lower Merion, Radnor or Great Valley [are not] scrambling right now”.
    .
    TESD is in a unique situation. I believe they are the only District that does not offer healthcare to a segment of their employees (paras). Because of PPACA, TESD is FORCED to change by either limiting hours to under 30, offering healthcare or outsourcing. I’m unsure of the timing. It will have to be done either for the 2013-14 school year or the subsequent year.
    .
    Lower Merion, Radnor and Great Valley are not affected by the PPACA since they already offer healthcare coverage to all employees.

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    Joanne Reply:

    exactly. We are the only ones caught off guard

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    TT Taxpayer Reply:

    Based on the generous estimates I saw, the additional healthcare costs would require less than a .07% increase in the total budget. (Not 7% but .07%) It is a small price to pay to maintain or even improve the value we receive from these employees. This cost is hardly significant enough to “force a change”. (Especially if the PSERS costs can be contained with Neil’s plan.)

    Shame on TESD for not offering healthcare coverage. Healthcare doesn’t need to be “Cadillac” but should be available to keep folks healthy and from losing everything should a catastrophic illness/accident occur. SL is right, it’s the “Cadillac” plans that need adjustment.

    [Reply]

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    TT Taxpayer,
    .
    The “generous estimates” and the 0.07% increase you mention only work if the “skinny” healthcare plan proposed by Neal passes the PPACA discrimination test. If the District is forced to offer a plan similar to the plan offered to the administrators, teachers and TENIG then the cost will be much, much higher.
    .
    You also mention “shame” for not offering healthcare coverage. I’m not sure there was any shame before the PPACA and certainly none after. Remember, the Affordable Care Act guarantees that healthcare coverage is available to everyone without regard to pre-existing conditions and subsidizes low wage earners so they can afford coverage.
    .
    As for adjusting the plan currently offered to the administrators – You’ll also have to adjust the teacher’s plan and the TENIG plan, too. Good luck!

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    I believe that collective bargaining agreements (TENIG, TEEA) are exempt from the ACA discrimination test. Therefore, in TESD case, the discrimination test for the aides/paras plan can only be with the administrators, who are not unionized.

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    Pattye,
    You are correct that the discrimination test does not apply to bargaining units (TEEA & TENIG). The reason I mentioned adjusting everyone’s healthcare plan was for competitive reasons. Would it be reasonable to have a teacher earning $105K working 10 months with a Cadillac healthcare plan as compared to an administrator earning $120K working 12 months with a Yugo healthcare plan? Why would someone make the jump from the teaching ranks to an administrative job in TE?

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Keith —
    The majority of the administrators in TE make considerably more than $120K examples — Robin McConnell $180K, Art McDonnell $160K, Sue Tiede $176K In fact, I did a quick check and found that of the 27 administrators, only 2 make $120K or less (and they both are in the high teens). So yes, there is a financial incentive in TE to leave teaching for administration. And BTW, Superintendent Dan Waters is not included in the 27 administrators.

  11. First CJ of the mainline. Some aides work 32 hours a week. So that aide may only lose 3 hours. So she cannot talk for everyone.
    As an aide in the district I saw this coming. I have been telling others they are going to not outsource. Then they are going to cut hours…pretty much saying “see we showed you, work for us now you make less money. You could have done better with the outsourcing company”. They win. Aides..students..parents of those students lose. Show up at the board meeting. EVEN LOUDER! Oh and CJ what has to go is a bonus for all admins!! Not hours for the lowest wage earners in the district. What has to go is a super who pulls in, after his bonus and car and all his other extras he pulls in 300,000. They did many shady things here and got caught with their pants down. Again…the aides lost here.

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    flyersfan Reply:

    TE, I am not so sure the aides that work 32 hours will be cut to 30 or 29.. What you may see is a deployment of aides working only half a day per day, thereby cutting hours in half.. While I don’t want to give this dumb board any ideas publicly, it would seem from an admin perspective that this would be the easiest way to go.. True, they would risk a wholesale march to the exits by the aides, so really we don’t know how this will shake out. Interested in the Radnor comparison. I believe their taxes are higher relative to ours, but a full analysis of their budget would be a good starting point to see how they pull it off. Also, Springfield too, pays their aides better thanb TE and offers healthcare. Whats up with us??

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  12. T/E Aide,

    I predicted the same thing in January of this year. I suspected this was all a ploy by the administrators to get the aides to accept less pay.

    Because they tried to slip this through in a consent agenda (just like raises and bonuses for administrators) in the hopes that citizens would not find out, I don’t think it was a ploy anymore. Sadly, I think they wanted to get this through with as little commotion and awareness on the part of aides and citizens as possible. It was a shockingly brazen and disrespectful thing to do to a community who clearly wants to be involved in the process.

    They didn’t win Aide. You did. Recognize it as such and go forward and use the political capital you have gained for your benefit and to your advantage.

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  13. Well, at least outsourcing is off the table for now. I do feel sorry for the Para’s who will loose hours effectively reducing their individual compensation.

    The Board President says this was a reaction to what they learned on the 21st…maybe. I remember the meeting on the 21st being about the Board and the Administration talking TO the affected employees; presenting the new outsourcing company and trying the explain the “misconceptions” about outsourcing. Maybe it took two more weeks before they “learned”. But maybe they continued to focus entirely on outsourcing only to be stopped at their executive meeting because they didn’t have the votes to continue on the outsource path. Maybe the high costs of outsourcing finally drove some on the Board to reject the plan to move all the employees to CCRES. Thank you to those members of our Board who stood up for reason and fiscal sanity.

    Now that the Board is coming to grips with the actual parameters of the ACA (as many employers are doing now), maybe they will continue to work on solutions to the issues related to the impending Cadillac Tax and the Affordable Health Care options required by the Law. Avoidance (in this case reducing hours) is a band-aid. Before they work on hiring 2 people for every potentially full-time job; maybe a more permanent and sustainable solution can be structured. The “work” needs to continue on this issue.

    To those of you I had the pleasure of meeting during this process; thank you for your interest and attention. You are a fine group of dedicated employees and I very much enjoyed working with you. And to Pattye…thanks so much giving me the opportunity and for your dedication to this community topic.

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    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Neal, thank you for all of your help and for your concern about the employees. I share your sentiments — we did meet many wonderful employees during this journey. As a member of this community, we should be grateful for their dedication to our District’s children! I would encourage the 9 school board members to spend time in the schools and get to know what the aides and paras do — you might be surprised!

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  14. flyersfan.
    and this is the last time I am going to respond unless you have facts to back up your statement
    I know the ACA. I know what it will and will not cost. I know the bigger picture. I have the facts and the counter proposal. When you have something other then an opinion let me know

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    flyersfan Reply:

    present your facts. You can declare what you want. I run a business. I know too, like you of course, the truth. I will agree that PSERS are a huge issue. But you will never agree that ACA is a terrible plan, so much so that unions and large corporations that supported it originally have waivered out of it. Sorry we disagree.

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  15. Keith.
    Yes, ACA is not a problem because long ago they made a conscience decision to offer healthcare to their workers. Someone want to explain to me why we never did in the first place? And why we shouldn’t? And the same people who complain about too many people on medicaid are the people setting up low income jobs with no offered benefits. ACA says OFFER the workers benefits. Give them an opportunity to buy into health insurance. If it is unaffordable by definition (very few will qualify if any) then the employer pays less then $3000 per person that goes on the exchange. I said it weeks ago and i will say it again. The school by law will have to inform all employees of their rights and about how to access the exchange and then who ever gets it the school pays a pro rated fee maxed out at $3000 per employee. Why do they have to pay the fee? Because the federal govt. is keeping the burden on the employer and not federal tax dollars. This is what should be offered for 2014 only. After then a negotiated affordable healthcare plan should be offered for years to follow. Neal has put the numbers together for that and they are far far far less the 2.5 million. I think actually about half of the business managers salary

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    flyersfan Reply:

    Joanne, the federal government is keeping the burden on the employer, not the tax payer… EXACTLY.. and why the whole system, current (old) and new (ACA) is flawed!!!

    In hindsight, the district was happy getting away with not paying insurance to the aides.. They got away with it. For awhile. In truth, they were not prepared. They could have been smarter in their allocation of funds.. Not only this board. However, the balance sheet has to add up. Many folks have pie in the sky wishes and wants..the cold hard facts are this has to add up on the bottom line. Maybe they can do it to everyones satisfaction.. final chapter yet to be written

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    flyersfan Reply:

    the board, Joanne has to prepare for FULL experience of the aides. For this year and going forward. How can they plan for the idiosyncratic needs of employees year over year? they have to budget for the worst case cost scenario. My interest is that if Radnor can do it, and others, then we should look at how our district income is deployed and reassess such deployment allocations…Aside from the argument over the wet blanket of ACA on employment, we would be better off working towards sharping our pencils and for the time being , see how we can make it work, at least until an idea better than ACA comes along. For now, its the law.

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  16. PS.. I too would like to thank Pattye, someone I don’t always agree with politically, and Neal too for their interest and in Neals situation, his expertise in getting ideas down on paper, Thank you both

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  17. It is interesting that Neal listened to the affected group, reached out and spoke to experts and came up with an alternate plan. What a straight forward, transparent process. When you put the challenge out in the open it is amazing how people from all sides can come together and work towards practical solutions.

    ACA is a problem because even the experts don’t have all the answers since all of the regulations have not been written. Unfortunately this law was passed in the Federal form of a “Consent Agenda” without input from the people.

    I agree that Neal’s plan give us some time to watch the law develop and then make changes as required. His skinny plan approach would cause most people to stay on their spouses plan for better coverage but would allow those with no current coverage to at least have the basics. Don’t they deserve this?

    I believe Neal’s plan does no require cutting people’s working hours.

    Hats off to Pattye and Neal for giving their time to help.

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  18. independent citizen.. Hullabaloo was a tv show. thats all I was saying. THought I was pretty clear. thanks for hitting the book though

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