Pierce Group Benefits Availability Video

October 20, 2016

Follow the links below to view a video about current Pierce Group Benefits.

Copy and paste into your browser.

1) Log on to

www.PierceGroupBenefits.com/HaywoodCountySchools
and select the current plan year from the drop-down menu

2)  Log on to www.PierceGroupBenefits.com and login through the          “Client Log-In” Box


Qualifications

February 16, 2016

“Now, more than ever, attitude trumps background, productivity defeats ignorance, particularly when it comes to the work done on the frontier, on the edges of creativity, where answers are still being found.”

-Seth Godin


Maternity Leave/FMLA Explanation

January 19, 2016

Leave of Absence Request for Maternity

Two options for leave of absence for Maternity

 

Family Medical Leave and Parental Leave without pay

 

FMLA:

 

To be eligible for FMLA, an employee must be permanent full or part time. The employee must have worked for Haywood County Schools for at least 12 months in a permanent position and have worked at least 1250 hours during the last 12 months preceding the commencement of leave. With FMLA, an employee can take up to 12 weeks of protected leave for recovery and/or child bonding time. Spouses who both work for the school system are limited to a combined 12 weeks of FMLA after the birth. FMLA protection is position protection with State Health Plan insurance employer premiums paid. The employee will be required to exhaust available leave during FMLA usage to include sick leave, annual leave, personal leave if applicable, and extended sick leave if applicable. Sick leave and if applicable extended sick leave is only allowed to be used during the temporary disability (recovery) time. Annual leave is used after sick leave is used if needed during temporary disability otherwise will be used during baby bonding time. If applicable, Personal Leave is used after Sick Leave and Annual Leave are exhausted. Up to 20 days of applicable extended sick leave is available each school year to certified personnel to use if they have a qualifying condition and have exhausted their other available leave. Extended sick leave is only used during a temporary disability period. Personal leave and extended sick leave carry a $50.00 per day deduction to the employee to offset the cost of a substitute.  If an employee were to come off payroll during FMLA, the employee would be responsible for the employee portion of any payroll deductions to include State Health Plan premiums. The employer premium would continue to be paid by Haywood County Schools during the approved FMLA period.  If after the use of FMLA, the employee does not return to work, the employee is responsible to pay Haywood County Schools any employer portion State Health Plan premiums that were paid on behalf of the employee while using FMLA.

 

Parental Leave without pay:

 

With Parental Leave w/out pay, an employee has the option to request a leave of absence without pay for up to one calendar year from the date of birth. The employee has the option to elect to exhaust leave per policy. The request should be in writing to include the specifics dates for the leave of absence and signed by the employee. The formal request should be accompanied by a doctor’s statement that includes the estimated delivery date and estimated temporary disability (recovery) period. The dates of this leave must be approved and agreed upon by the Board of Education. The Board of Education may determine the beginning and the end dates of the leave based on a consideration of the welfare of students and the need for continuity of service. The Board of Education can require this leave be extended through the end of a school year when the leave would end in the latter half of the school year. Spouses who both work for the same school system are limited to a combined 12 months of parental leave during the year following birth. Sick leave is allowed to be used for any temporary disability (recovery) period. Annual Leave may be used as long as the days are consecutive days during the first 12 months after the date of birth. Personal leave may be used after all other available leave is used. Personal leave carries a $50.00 per day deduction from the employee to offset the cost of a substitute. Once off payroll, the employee would be responsible for maintaining the full State Health Plan insurance monthly premiums to include the employer portion. Additionally, the employee would be responsible for paying HCS for any other payroll deductions from any supplemental insurance options for which the employee is enrolled.

 

Procedure for Leave Approval:

 

For FMLA:

 

The employee should go to our HCS HR website from the HCS home page and once on the HR Site, click on the Leave of Absence tab at the top of the page. Once there, the employee should complete form numbers 1, 2, & 3. Once the forms are complete, an appointment to meet with Cindy Simson at Central Office to go over an estimated leave calendar and answer any questions can be made. Form #3 FMLA WH-380-E goes to the doctor’s office to be completed and returned to Cindy Simson. If given permission, the doctor’s office can fax the Wh-380-E form directly back to Central Office at 828-456-2438. If the doctor’s office will not complete this form right away, please ask for a doctor’s note that states the patient information, the estimated due date, and the estimated time needed for temporary disability. The FMLA form will be due back to Central Office once the employee begins the third trimester. Please note that some doctor’s offices charge for this form to be completed and will not send the form to our office until all fees are paid and up to date. Haywood County Schools nor the State Health Plan does not reimburse for these fees.

 

For Parental Leave without pay:

 

The employee should go to our HCS HR website from the HCS home page and once on the HR Site, click on the Leave of Absence tab at the top of the page. Once there, the employee is to complete form #2. The employee should also construct a letter of request for this leave including the specific dates being requested. The letter should also include if the employee would like to elect to exhaust all available leave per policy. The letter and leave request form should be accompanied by a doctor’s statement that states the patient information, the estimated due date, and the estimated time needed for temporary disability.  Once the form & letter are complete, an appointment to meet with Cindy Simson at Central Office to go over an estimated leave calendar and answer any questions can be made.


Make a New Decision

December 10, 2015

Making a new decision

It’s almost impossible to persuade someone that he’s wrong. Almost impossible to make your argument louder and sharper and have the other person say, “I was wrong and I will change my mind.”

Far more effective: Help someone make a new decision, based on new alternatives and a new story.

-Seth Godin


Educating the Man in the “Middle Seat”

November 23, 2015

See how one educator responds to someone who asks “What do you need to fix education?”

 

Quote for the day: “I am an educator, and I am responsible for educating even the man in the middle seat.”

 

https://www.upworthy.com/a-plane-passenger-asked-a-teacher-a-kind-of-rude-question-about-her-job-she-responded-eloquently?c=mail1&u=103d3d0d33f4d621c344e0b1490dd5301629e77e


State Health Plan Open Enrollment Ends

November 20, 2015
The State Health Plan Open Enrollment is OVER!
If you did not participate in open enrollment, you will still be covered with the same plan that you have had during this last 2015 year.
If you had the 70/30 plan last year, you will still have the 70/30 plan again in 2016. Premiums for the any dependent coverage with the 70/30 plan will be increasing. Deductibles, co-pays, and out of pocket maximums will be increasing for the 70/30 plan as well. Premium Rates for 2016.
If you had the 80/20 plan or the Consumer Directed plan last year, you will still have those plans in 2016. There are increases in premiums for both of these plans. If you did not participate in open enrollment for the 80/20 plan or the Consumer Directer Plan and complete the wellness activities, you will see a higher increase in premiums. 80/20 Premiums  Consumer Directed Premiums
All premium changes will begin with the December pay check.
There is no other opportunity to make changes to your coverage outside of open enrollment unless there is a qualifying life event. Qualifying life event changes have to be made within 30 days of the life event and only when documented proof is provided. All changes and documentation to the plan must be communicated to Cindy Simson before the change is attempted. You may contact Cindy Simson by calling extension 2111 or by emailcsimson@haywood.k12.nc.us.
Please let Cindy know of any questions that you may have about the State Health Plan. Thank you for all you do and Thank you for participating in Open Enrollment with the State Health Plan!

Retired Teacher Interim Update

November 19, 2015
The State Legislature recently passed a law that allows Retired Teachers to keep their current health insurance when working more than 90 calendar days full-time.  This allows retired teachers to avoid the undesirable High Deductible Health Plan.  If a Retired Teacher works more than 90 calendar days and retains their current health insurance, the local LEA is responsible for the premium cost — almost $500 per month.
What does this mean for Haywood County?
  • This law changes nothing for us.  Due to the local budget, Dr. Garrett has determined that the district cannot pay the premium for Retired Teachers working as an interim for more than 90 calendar days. 
  • In Haywood County, Retired Teachers cannot work more than 90 calendar days as an interim in the district in one school or multiple schools.  Once a Retired Teacher works 90 calendar days consecutively, they must have a six (6) month break in service before returning to work in any capacity.
  • Retired Teachers can work intermittently as long as they wish without penalty.
  • Retired Teachers can work less than 29 hours per week for as long as they wish without penalty.  They must submit a time sheet to payroll each month.
  • Retired Teachers with a current license are paid as certified substitutes as long as the regular classroom teacher is exhausting leave.
  • Retired Teachers with a current license can be paid on their license and years of experience as long as the regular classroom teacher is off payroll.

Teacher Turnover Report

November 15, 2015

The 2015 Teacher Turnover Report was recently released.

Haywood County Schools employs 522 licensed personnel.  Sixty of those left Haywood County Schools between March 2014 and March 2015.

This makes our Turnover Percentage 11.49%.  The State average is 14.84%.  In 2014-2015 North Carolina employed just over 96,000 teachers.

The reasons for leaving Haywood County varied from Retirement to Family/Child Care.

Top Five Reasons:

1.  14 resigned to teach in another NC Public School System.  Usually Buncombe or Henderson County.  In the exit survey, most teachers sited being closer to their home rather than pay or climate as the reason for changing districts.

2.  10 retired with full benefits.

3.  8 resigned to teach in another state.  In 4 of these, their spouse was transferred by their employer.

4.  8 resigned for a career change.  It was interesting that none of these were lateral entry teachers.

5.  4 resigned for family/child care.

These numbers are close to our five year average.