St. Charles School District May Offer Early Retirement Incentive
Teachers with 20 years experience could get $21,000 lump sum payment for retiring.
In an effort to plan for future budget constraints, the St. Charles School District may offer an early retirement incentive next year.
The incentive is part of several agreements which the Board of Education is expected to consider on Thursday.
Negotiating teams for the district and three different groups reached agreement on employee pay, benefits and work conditions for the 2013-14 school year.
If the agreements—negotiated with the St. Charles Education Association, the St. Charles Educational Support Staff Association and the St. Charles Transportation Education Association—are approved by the board Thursday, the following will take place next year:
- Teachers would receive a financial incentive to retire after the 2013-14 school year based on their years of service. Teachers with 5 to 9 years in the district would receive $7,000, those with 10-19 years would receive $14,000 and those with 20 or more years would receive $21,000 paid in a lump sum.
- Classified staff will also be given a one-time retirement incentive of $3,500 for 5 to 9 years of service, $7,000 for 10-19 years of service, and $10,500 for 20 or more years of service.
Superintendent Jeff Marion said offering an early retirement incentive only makes sense if there are a significant number of employees eligible to retire who might choose to stay longer.
"You offer a financial incentive for people to retire, which in turn allows the district to hire a newer teacher who will probably have half of their salary starting out," he said.
While between 50 and 60 teachers are eligible to retire after next year, Marion said he expects 15 to 20 to take the buyout.
The incentive should help at a time when the district is expecting to need to make cuts. Between rising costs of employee salaries and insurance, the district has already had to cut $1 million from the budget.
The district would realize the cost benefit from the buyout in the 2014-15 school year.
If the agreements are approved:
- Teachers would receive a half-step pay increase on the salary schedule, which works out to about a 1.43 percent raise, Marion said. Classified staff and transportation staff would receive a 1.5 percent increase in pay.
- Teachers would also be paid for unused sick leave for up to 150 days at $20-$60 a day, depending on years of service.
- Classified staff and transportation staff would be paid for unused sick leave, up to 1,125 hours, when they retire or resign from the district at a rate of between $1 and $5 an hour, based on years of service.
- Resident teachers would be able to choose which high school their children attend, subject to available space. "In a time when you don't have much money to give to salary increases.. it's a little thing we can do as a benefit for our staff," Marion said.
The board of education is scheduled to meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.