North Putnam revisits health care issues
BAINBRIDGE -- With the whole nation having to sign up for health insurance, the North Putnam School Board is still debating what to do with its non-certified employees.
The North Putnam School Corporation had reinstated its non-certified employees, this includes instructional assistants, custodians and cafeteria workers, to 35-hour work weeks at the beginning of the school year. Now the board must decide on whether or not to cut the employees' hours again or allow them onto the insurance program.
This decision affects 42 employees in the corporation Dan Noel, North Putnam School Corporation Superintendent, told the board. He also informed them that the look back period of one-year began November 1, which means that the corporation has been out of compliance with the health care law for two months and could accrue a fine.
"We need to adjust employees hours so that it averages out to 29.5 hours," Noel said.
The look back period is where employers with 50 or more employees must come into compliance with the law and either cut employee hours or offer them health insurance.
Board member Oliver Haste suggested that the corporation offer the employees health insurance, he believed this was a way to solve this problem so that the employees could remain on for the hours.
Tanya Pearson, treasurer of North Putnam School Corporation, informed the board that if the corporation could offer the employees health insurance the deductible would be close to $5,000 and that they would have to take the insurance no matter what.
Haste did not think this was the case and asked Noel for more information about it.
Travis Lambermont, board member, moved that the board adjust the hours as soon as possible to help avoid the fines. The motion failed to pass due to several board members wanting more information on it and wanting to talk to the affected 42 employees.
As the board deliberates on what to do, the number of hours dwindle for those employees affected. Jim Bowling, board member, calculated that if the board acted by January 1 the hours would have to be cut to 28 to balance hours over the look back period.
The board will be revisiting this issue at the Jan. 16 meeting.
Along with trying to resolve the hours issue, the board looked at upcoming projects.
The board approved the appropriation of QZAB funds and the QZAB project. This is renovation of the middle school/high school building.
Noel will also be signing the contract with Johnson-Melloh for the renovations of Roachdale Elementary.
Another issue that has been an issue also is the Bainbridge roofing project. The project that was to be completed in August has yet to be finished. Bowling was concerned about the project and believed that Ensley Systems should not be paid until the project was completed.
"They're not doing a job," Bowling stated. "There have been several 40 -and- 50 - degree days for them to finish and they still haven't."
He pointed out that the job had gone four an a half months over the original completion date and believed it was due to the group not working when it should have.
North Putnam Middle School will also be down an assistant principal at the end of the school year. Assistant Principal Rick England will be stepping down from his position and taking up as a math teacher. Noel commented that England's reason for stepping down is his desire for a career change.
The board voted to hold payment until at least next month or until the project is completed.
In other business:
-The board approved several new hires in the athletics department: Benny Ault as head softball coach, Greg Barrett as head football coach, Myra Cox as assistant cheer coach, Dan Fouts as assistant football coach, Brian Judy as head boys' golf coach, Linda Keuneke as volunteer girls' assistant track coach, Curt Krominaker as volunteer boys' assistant track coach, Kevin Lutes as head girls' track coach and head cross country coach, Brent McColgin as volunteer girls' assistant track coach, David Moeller as head boys' soccer coach, Brittney Nees as volunteer girls' assistant track coach, Linda Patrick as head girls' golf coach and Boyd Pickel as the volunteer boys' basketball coach at the middle school.
- Two new bus drivers were hired: Danny Blanton and Tony Ryan.
- George Huber was approved for retirement as transportation secretary. Bonnie Osborn will be replacing Huber.
-Jason Chew, assistant principal at North Putnam High School, and Scott Spencer, principal at Roachdale Elementary, will be taking over as testing coordinators next year.
The next North Putnam Community School Corporation School Board meeting will be on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Administration Office.