This handbook is not meant as a wage offer or a guarantee of a job or position. As a handbook, it does not qualify to be grieved. It is simply a guide for education support personnel. All USD 475 Board of Education policies supersede anything in the handbook.
Geary County USD 475
Education Support Personnel (ESP)Handbook
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Section and Title Page 1. INTRODUCTION 1 2. DISTRICT MISSION STATEMENT 1 3. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER 1 4. LOYALTY OATH 2 5. BENEFITS AND COMPENSATION 2
Geary County Schools wishes to express appreciation to you for your willingness to be a part of the staff for the Geary County USD 475. This handbook has been prepared to assist you in becoming acquainted with our district and its policies and procedures.
Geary County USD 475 serves students in the Junction City, Fort Riley, Milford, and Grandview Plaza areas and is a diverse, multicultural, innovative school district with a state and national reputation for school improvement. Assessment scores on state and national tests have improved steadily since 1987. This school district was one of the two pilot North Central Association Outcomes Accreditation high schools in the state and was a guiding force behind the State of Kansas Quality Performance Accreditation (QPA) plan initiated in 1989.
The Geary County school district consists of thirteen elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, and Larry Dixon Center, Early Childhood Center, Head Start, McConnell Maintenance Complex, and the Mary E. Devin Center for Education Support.
This handbook is not meant as a wage offer or a guarantee of a job or position. As a handbook, it does not qualify to be grieved. It is simply a guide for ESP employees. All USD 475 Board of Education policies supersede anything in the handbook.
Some ESP positions may be subject to a pre-employment health screening based on the job requirements. If this is the case, the employee will bear full responsibility for payment of this fee.
2. DISTRICT MISSION STATEMENT: “The mission of Geary County USD 475 is to inspire learning, empowering all students to become contributing members of society with the personal, professional and social skills necessary for their success.”
3. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: The board shall hire all employees on the basis of ability and the district’s needs. The district is an equal opportunity employer and shall not discriminate in its conditions, or privileges of employment because of an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin.
Inquiries regarding compliance may be directed to the district staff member appointed annually by the Board of Education at its July meeting. The name and contact instructions are available from the Clerk of the Board at the Board of Education office. Inquiries may also be directed to:
. LOYALTY OATH: As required by current law, all employees will be asked to sign a Loyalty Oath at the time of employment. This oath indicates the employee’s promise to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Kansas and to faithfully discharge the duties of their respective position. It is signed and notarized by personnel on site.
5. BENEFITS AND COMPENSATION: Employees are eligible for benefits and a possible increase in their hourly wage, after they have satisfactorily completed their 90-day probationary period. Should this probationary period be unsatisfactory, the supervisor has the option of extending it for another 90-day period.
5.1 Insurance: Geary County USD 475 provides a group health insurance plan along with a group dental insurance plan. An employee who wishes to enroll in the coverage must be enrolled in both the medical and dental insurance policies. The plan includes both individual and family coverage. The Payroll Department can be contacted for specifics on available coverage.
The Board of Education provides a contribution towards the cost of insurance coverage for those employees who elect to participate in the district plan. Under no condition will the board’s contribution exceed the cost of the premium for the lowest option for that respective coverage.
Employees failing to enroll during their first opportunity will have to wait until the open enrollment period unless a qualifying event occurs (i.e., marriage, divorce, birth, death, commencement or termination of spouse’s employment). At the current time, May is the month designated as open enrollment for our plan with the health insurance coverage effective July 1st. For specific details on coverage, refer to the group health insurance booklet.
5.2 Salary Protection: The Board of Education provides salary protection via purchase of an appropriate insurance policy for all ESP personnel. Benefits for a disability resulting from a covered illness or accident begin after a 14-day waiting period or the end of the employee’s accumulated sick leave whichever is greater.In order to qualify for benefits, the employee must be totally disabled and submit a claim form that has been completed by an attending physician. Benefits are paid at approximately 66 2/3 percent of your annual salary for a maximum period of 26 weeks. Employees hired after July 1st are subject to pre-existing conditions which occurred during the 12 months immediately before the date that coverage becomes effective.
5.3 Leaves and Absences: All leave is to be approved by immediate supervisor prior to use, if at all possible. No leave time may be used as part of a severance arrangement. Employees resigning will not be paid for leave days after the last day they are physically present. See the ESP Employees Leave Chart, included as Appendix 15.1, for a breakdown of how leave is accumulated. See Appendix 15.2 for a copy of the Request for Leave Form.
5.3.1 Vacation: It is intended that all vacation time be used in the same fiscal year in which it is earned. The fiscal year runs from July 1st through June 30th. Accumulated vacation leave from the previous fiscal year must be taken by the end of December or be forfeited. Vacations should be scheduled with and approved by the employee’s immediate supervisor, and should be taken when they will least interfere with the primary work of the school or department. Earned vacation leave may be used during Winter Break, Spring Break, or other days the students are not in attendance during the school year, provided the supervisor has approved the leave time in advance.
In lieu of bonus days, 12-month employees with continuous (uninterrupted)* service to the district earn additional vacation days at the rate of: 1 and 1/8 days per month for those with 10 to 14 consecutive years of service (total of 13 ½ days for the year)
1 and ¼ days per month for those with 15 to 19 consecutive years of service (total of 15 days for the year)
1 and ½ days per month for those with 20 or more consecutive years of service (total of 18 days for the year)
Employees with interrupted service who returned to the district prior to July 1, 2008, are grandfathered in and eligible to earn vacation time according to their total years of service. However, any employee leaving the district after July 1, 2008 who later returns to district employment would no longer be able to count prior years toward this benefit.
5.3.2 Sick Leave: Used by the employee for personal sickness only; includes trips to the doctor, hospital, and dentist.
5.3.3 Family Leave: Used by the employee if any family member is ill, including doctor, dentist, and hospital visits; also includes leave for funerals of members of the immediate family. Immediate family includes: husband, wife, parents, children, grandparents, grandparents of spouse, grandchildren, brother or sister, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law; other remote relatives may be included if approved by the Superintendent.
5.3.4 General Personal Day: Used for any personal business desired by employee; but must be approved by their supervisor prior to taking this leave.
5.3.5 Professional Leave: Used when employee is attending a meeting, etc. at employer’s request.
5.3.6 Lost Time without Pay: Used when employee does not have any leave under the category that is applicable, employee is charged with lost time.
188.8.131.52 Lost Time without Pay: Seniority and earned benefits do not accrue during periods of unpaid leave such as, but not limited to FMLA and extended usages of lost time.
5.3.7 Jury Duty/Court Subpoena: Used when employee is on jury duty or issued a court subpoena. A copy of the notice or subpoena must be provided to the immediate supervisor. Paid leave is not extended to employees appearing in court whose subpoena arises out of an action initiated against the district on their behalf or any other legal proceeding in which school district business is not involved.
5.3.8 Suspension With/Without Pay: The immediate supervisor may recommend to the Director of Human Resource Services to suspend an employee with or without pay.
5.3.9 Bereavement: Used by employee in the event of death of spouse, child, parent, brother, sister or other approved by Superintendent when all Family leave has been used. Such leave shall be limited to and charged against the accumulated and unused sick leave.
5.3.10 Maternity Leave: This is deducted from sick leave.
5.3.11 Adoption: Used in the event of the adoption of a child by an employee. The employee is allowed to use available sick leave for preparation and/or adjustment to a new family member. The number of days cannot exceed five unless approved by the Superintendent.
.3.12 Family and Medical Leave: FMLA requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to “eligible” employees for certain family and medical reasons. Employees are eligible if they have worked for their employer for at least one year, and for 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months. The FMLA permits employees to take leave on an intermittent basis or to work a reduced schedule under certain circumstances. Other benefits such as seniority and earned benefits do not accrue when an employee is on unpaid FMLA leave. Contact the Payroll Department for additional information on how to apply. A more complete list of rights and responsibilities may be found in the appendix on page 35 or on the HR page on the Intranet.
5.3.13 Military Leave: Employees are entitled to military leave under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act of 1994. The Act applies to military service that began on or after December 12, 1994 or military service that began before December 12, 1994 if the employee was a reservist or National Guard member who provided notice to the employer before leaving work.
Reemployment rights extend to persons who have been absent from work because of “service in the uniformed services.” The uniformed services consist of the following military branches:
Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard.
Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air Force Reserve, or Coast Guard Reserve.
Army National Guard or Air National Guard.
Commissioned corps of the Public Health Service.
Any other category of persons designated by the President in time of war or emergency.
“Service” in the uniformed services means duty on a voluntary or involuntary basis in a uniformed service, including:
Active duty for training.
Initial active duty for training.
Inactive duty training.
Full-time National Guard duty.
Absence from work for an examination to determine a person’s fitness for any of the above types of duty.
The employee may be absent for up to five (5) years for military duty and retain reemployment rights. There are, however, exceptions which can exceed timing, frequency, duration, or nature of an individual’s service. The law enhances protections for disabled veterans including a requirement to provide reasonable accommodations and up to two (2) years to return to work if convalescing from injuries received during service or training.
The returning employee is entitled to be reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority. If necessary, the employer must provide training or retraining that enables the employee to refresh or upgrade their skills so they can qualify for reemployment. Which the individual is performing military service, he or she is deemed to be on a furlough or leave of absence and is entitled to the non-seniority rights accorded other individuals on non-military leaves of absence. Individuals performing military duty of more than 30 days may elect to continue employer sponsored health care for up to 18 months at a cost of up to 102 percent of the full premium. For military service of less than 31 days, health care coverage is provided as if the individual had never left. All pensions which are a reward for length of service are protected.
Individuals must provide advance written or verbal notice to their employer for all military duty. Notice may be provided by the employee or by the branch of the military in which the individual will be serving.
Notice is not required if military necessity prevents the giving of notice; or, the giving of notice is otherwise impossible or unreasonable.
Accrued vacation, general personal, or bonus leave may be used (but it’s not required) while performing military duty. The individual’s timeframe for returning to work is based upon the time spent on military duty.
TIME SPENT ON RETURN TO WORK OR APPLICATION
MILITARY DUTY FOR REEMPLOYMENT
Less than 31 days: Must return at the beginning of the next
More than 30 but less Must submit an application for
Than 181 days: reemployment within 14 days of release
More than 180 days: Must submit an application for
reemployment within 90 days of release
The individual’s separation from service must be under honorable conditions in order for the person to be entitled to reemployment rights. Documentation showing eligibility for reemployment can be required. The employer has the right to request that an individual who is absent for a period of service of 31 days or more provide documentation showing:
the application for reemployment is timely;
the five-year service limitation has not been exceeded; and,
separation from service was under honorable conditions.
If documentation is not readily available or it does not exist, the individual must be reemployed. However, if after reemploying the individual, documentation becomes available that shows one or more reemployment requirements were not met, the employer may terminate the individual, effective immediately. The termination does not operate retroactively.
Questions should be directed to Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, U.S. Department of Labor.
Kansas law also requires reemployment if an individual is called to active duty by the state.
5.4 Vacation Days:Employees working less than 12 months with continuous (uninterrupted)* service to the district earn additional vacation days at the rate of: 1/8 days per month based on your Notification of Wage for those with 10 to 14 consecutive years of service
¼ days per month based on your Notification of Wage for those with 15 to 19 consecutive years of service
½ days per month based on your Notification of Wage for those with 20 or more consecutive years of service
*Employees with interrupted service who returned to the district prior to July 1, 2008, are grandfathered in and eligible to earn vacation time according to their total years of service. However, any employee leaving the district after July 1, 2008 who later returns to district employment would no longer be able to count prior years toward this benefit.
5.5 Holidays: Holidays are paid for the number of hours worked per day, as indicated on the employee’s Notification of Wage. Employees who consistently work fewer hours than indicated on their notification will be reviewed by the Director of Human Resources and may receive a new notification of wage reflecting actual hours worked resulting in a consequent reduction in holiday pay and benefits. The appropriate pay schedule for the current year will indicate which holidays will be paid. In order to be eligible for holiday pay, you are expected to work the last regularly scheduled workday before the holiday and the first regularly scheduled workday following the holiday.The supervisor has the discretion to approve holiday pay for employees who are absent. Overtime pay cannot be earned based on holiday hours paid. Overtime pay will only be paid based on actual hours worked. Temporary employees, ESP subs, Lunchroom/Playground Aides, and Part-time are not eligible for holiday pay.
5.6 Payday: Payday is on or about the 20th day of each month. In the event a payday falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday observed on a Monday, payday will be the Friday directly preceding it. See handout given at orientation for pay periods and cut off dates.
5.7 Non-Taxable Section 125 – Salary Reductions:Employees of Geary County USD 475 are permitted to take identified benefits under the 125 Salary Reduction Plan. This means annual taxable income will be reduced by the amount of the eligible premiums. Benefits chosen under salary reduction must remain in force for the entire plan year.
(1) According to IRS regulations, the only allowable exceptions are due to changes in family status such as marriage, divorce, death, birth or adoption of a child, or a change in the employment status of the employee or spouse.
(2) The benefits include salary protection insurance, health insurance, cancer insurance, dependent care reimbursement, medical expense reimbursement and group life insurance up to $50,000. The balance of the premium for life insurance over $50,000 becomes a salary deduction and will be taxable.
5.8 Salary Deductions: Employees desiring changes in wage deductions must submit a written statement to the Superintendent or his/her designated representative in accordance with established procedures and regulations. This pertains to optional deductions, such as health insurance, direct deposit of employees’ checks, change of address, number of dependents, annuities, etc.
5.8.1 Enrollment Periods for Annuities: Changes in annuities may be made in January and September by submitting a written request to the Superintendent in accordance with established guidelines and procedures.
5.9 Annuities – Deductions: The Board of Education will authorize deductions and make the proper remittance for tax deferred annuities for those employees making written requests to do so, provided the annuity company to which payments are to be submitted is among those on the Board’s approved list. Changes in annuity deductions should be made in September or January. The Board of Education reserves the right to approve or disapprove any annuity company. No life insurance may be written into the annuity. You may request a payroll deduction for an annuity with one company only. Those employees under the grandfather clause who now have more than one company may continue until such time that any change (roll over or cancellation) is made; no replacement above the single deduction will be accepted at that time.