How to figure overtime, and if bonus pay will be paid for weeks including holidays and sick leave, proved to the sticky wicket at the Newton Board of Education Monday night.
The heart of the matter is the 2013-14 classified handbook, and changes that went into effect Jan 1. The change eliminated bonus pay for employees who do not physically work more than 40 hours.
Monday was the second board meeting the issue was discussed.
Following the last board meeting, superintendent Deb Hamm and assistant superintendent Russell Miller reviewed the changes that were made to the classified handbook in December.
Hamm and Miller met with two representatives of the maintenance and custodial staff to discuss specific concerns and share information and also met with department heads. Hamm requested from and received concerns regarding aspects of the Fair Labor Standards Act. These are currently under review.
"While this is going on, our staff is in limbo, and that is good for anyone," said Renee Erickson said.
Erickson made a motion Monday that those changes be suspended until a policy could be created following meetings by Hamm with maintenance staff.
The motion died for lack of a second.
The administration offered no recommendations for actions or additional information to provide and would request this item be tabled at this time pending the preparation of a formal plan for addressing the concerns. It is agreed that whatever plan is presented will maintain or improve the wages currently received by the classified staff exclusive of changes to KPERS contributions or any changes in payroll taxes.
"We need to keep the dialog between the administration, supervisors and workers," said board president Tim Hodge. "this is very important. ... We need these issues to be resolved in a healthy way."
This budget year, and prior budget years, 26 members of that department have worked 45 hour weeks — five hours of overtime per week. They are paid that 45 hours — including overtime — during holiday weeks, vacation and sick leave.
Hamm told the board of education Feb. 10 the proposal was not to eliminate all overtime, but make changes for those weeks employees use sick, vacation or holiday hours.
What the proposal is to guarantee 40 hours during a week for weeks they take a sick day or vacation. They would not get paid the overtime, unless they physically work those hours.
In addition, overtime would have to be signed off on by a supervisor under the the handbook. Supervisors currently sign time cards when they are submitted.
In other business:
• Recognized Henry Jantzen, who was named a National Merit Scholar finalist. • Heard a report from Santa Fe sixth graders who have created a project to document the 75 year history of the building of the Santa Fe 5/6 Center. • Approved Kansas Association of School Board policy revisions. • Received and approved an audit report.