County School officials said they are eliminating the "antiquated" sick leave nank and replacing it with a disability plan that would provide more coverage for teachers and staff.
Officials said those who have paid into the Sick Leave Bank would be getting the return of those funds when it is phased out.
Brent Goldberg, who heads county school finance, said, "We currently do not have any type of short-term disability insurance for employees. Instead, we have an outdated sick leave bank. Employees can donate sick leave to the bank and then share sick leave with other employees if they become unable to work for more than seven days. The first seven days come out of personal sick leave and then up to 90 days comes out of the sick leave bank. "
He listed issues with the sick leave bank as:
1. Not automatic and only 1/3 of our employees have opted in.
2. Applications to use leave from the sick leave bank are adjudicated by peers rather than a third party
3. Only covers up to 90 days.
Mr. Goldberg said, "We propose to replace the sick leave bank with short term disability insurance. Under the plan, employees will receive the benefit at no cost to the employee. The benefit covers a portion of their income if they are unable to work and deemed medically disabled, for up to 26 weeks of coverage. Employees would still be required to use personal sick leave the first seven days.
"The cost to provide this benefit to employees is estimated at $58,000 per month. The monthly cost is based on the number of employees we have on payroll each month. This cost will be paid out of our internal self insurance fund. There will be no impact on the general purpose operating budget because the amount we currently transfer each year from operating to the insurance fund is sufficient to cover the cost."
Mr. Goldberg said the basic board paid coverage is 60 percent of weekly income or 60 percent of $833 per week, whichever is greater. This is a max of $500 per week. This is a standard benefit amount for short term disability insurance, he said.
Employees will also be able to purchase additional short term disability coverage, above and beyond the basic Board paid coverage, if they so choose.