Monday, September 6, 2010

Would the Board Reject an Opportunity to Fund Equity? we have $1.75M of Education Job Fund cash.
Most definitely, we need to be careful not to be pennywise and pound foolish.
Ultimately, the best leverage of this opportunity is to fund FUTURE savings.
But more on that to come.

What COULD be done is to take this opportunity, with $3.4M in (theoretically) unspent money and address our equity know...with the 300+ Local 60 members.  And, the move could be paid for with other savings...we don't even have to touch the EdJobs Fund stash.  And that's what makes this a good move.  A fair move.  Here's the lowdown:

Step 1:  We need to define "target" percentages for healthcare copays.
Say our "target" is 6% of health and 10% of dental
Admin (now) pays 6% and 2% respectively
Local 60 [L60] pays 9% and 14.5%%

Step 2:  Get Local 60 to the targets.
If we REDUCED L60 copays to 6% health (drop 3%) and 10% dental (drop 4.5%),
it would cost us $150,000 this year.
....and certainly that's not a figure to take lightly.

Step 3:  Funding the plan.
If we used the EdJobs cash, it would take about  8% of the $1.75M...
BUT...we could fund it differently.  Consider this:

The savings we incurred from just Admin and Admin Support alone (1% vs. 2% budgeted raises + increase health/dental copays)
comes to about $50,000.
There's 1/3 of the cost already.

Now...salaries for L60 last year were about $7.9M
That means we budgeted about $160K for their [potential] (2%)  raises
If we only give them 1%, we save $80K; now we have "saved" $130K of the $150K cost to reduce their copays.
Not close what if offer them a 0.75% pay raise ($ave$ us $100K from planned 2% raise).

So....imagine the good will that would be garnered with a package deal of 0.75% raise, -3% health and -4.5% dental!

This package sets the bar --for now anyway--- at 6% health / 10% dental
It pays for itself in THIS budget by virtue of Admin and Admin Support budget savings.

The bottom Line- Putting $$$ in the pockets of those hurting most
It puts about $500 in each L60 member's pocket per year from less insurance costs.
It puts about $175/yr NEW money in their pockets from the 0.75% raise.
for someone making less than $25K, putting $675 in their pockets means a lot.

And we haven't used 1 dime of what the teachers savings would be.
Paying 2% more towards insurance will save us $168K per year

Food for thought
       Assuming every employee takes family health & dental insurance
Admin staff earn an average of $51/hr and pay $937/yr out of pocket
Admin Support staff earn an average of $29/hr and pay $786/yr out of pocket
Teachers (SPEA) earn, on average, $32/hr and pay $273/yr out of pocket
L60 folks earn an average of about $15/hr yet they pay $1,573/yr out of pocket

Final Thoughts
Yeah....we know...this is crazy...right?
Why would we ever consider funding MORE of an employee unit's health care?
Or, as one community member put it, "If Local 60 was dumb enough to agree to what they pay, then they need to live with it".

So why then?  Has SP-EYE been sippin' the Kool-Aid?
It's really as simple as equity.  
We need to treat all our employees more equitably.
That means teachers need to pay MORE and Local 60 should be reduced to an equity point.  THEN. over time, we can increase all groups unilaterally.
Does the school district wish to be renowned as a fair and principled place to work?
Or would it rather be viewed as a caste system?