skip to main content

SECTION 10: BENEFITS

10.1 Introduction

Our employee benefits program is an addition to your paycheck and can provide comfort and security. The State supports a comprehensive and up-to-date benefits program that is competitive with most plans and is designed to provide protection if you're sick or injured, security for your survivors, and financial support for the future. This section gives a quick review of benefits provided to benefits eligible KSSB employees. If you have further questions, contact the Human Resources Department.

10.2 Holidays

Classified employees, the Superintendent, and some unclassified exempt & nonexempt staff are entitled to receive holiday credit for the following holidays, subject to approval by the Governor:

· New Year's Day

· Martin Luther King Day

· Memorial Day

· Independence Day

· Labor Day

· Veteran's Day

· Thanksgiving Day (two days)

· Christmas Day

The Appointing Authority may require a Classified employee to work the holiday. If a Classified employee works a holiday they will receive either holiday pay for that day or compensatory time at the rate of time and a half for hours worked. Employees MUST be in pay status the day before and after to receive pay credit for the actual holiday.

Unclassified exempt employees are on contract for a specified number of school days/hours in the year. In some cases Unclassified exempt staff works holidays due to the school calendar work days. Unclassified nonexempt staff who work a holiday that falls within the school work calendar will receive either holiday pay for that day or compensatory time at the rate of time and a half for all hours worked on the holiday.

10.3 Discretionary Day

KSSB employees that are benefits eligible receive a Discretionary Day if they 1) are employed 50% of the time or more, and 2) have worked a minimum of six months with KSSB. This day is granted on a year to year basis by the Governor to employees to observe a holiday or other special DAY during the calendar year. The Discretionary Day should be requested at least two weeks in advance on a KSSB Application for Leave form. It must be approved by your supervisor. Staff is encouraged not to wait until the end of the calendar year to use this time due to scheduling conflicts near the holidays. The Discretionary Day is authorized on a calendar basis and may not be carried over into the next calendar year. It MUST be taken as a regular whole work day, i.e., 1/2 day (4 hours) for part-time (50%) staff or a full work day (8-24 hours) for fulltime (100%) staff.

10.4 Personal Days

KSSB will grant three (3) days of personal time annually for certified personnel and Instructional

Assistants to be used during the regular school year, but not during the extended school year (ESY). Any time not taken during the regular school year will be forfeited, and cannot accumulate. Personal leave requests must be made no less than five (5) days in advance to allow for the development of lesson plans and related activities for the support of a substitute teacher.

Personal leave is not available under the following conditions unless authorized by the Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent:

· The orientation period at the beginning of the school year.

· The last five (5) contract days of the school year.

· The last contract day prior to Thanksgiving break, winter break, spring break, or a holiday.

· The first contract day following Thanksgiving break, winter break, spring break, or a holiday.

· Any professional development or professional preparation days identified on the school calendar.

10.5 Group Health Insurance

State sponsored group health insurance is available to state employees with a variety of vendor plans. (Contact the Human Resources Department for booklets containing the different plan options.) The state pays a portion of the employee's premiums but the employee must pay the majority of the premiums for his/her dependent and spouse's coverage through payroll deduction. Dental Insurance covers routine dental work. New employees have a waiting period of approximately 30 days before their insurance becomes effective and then it will begin on the 1st of the month after the waiting period is met. Current employees may

change coverage and/or providers during open enrollment, usually during October, to be effective on January 1st of the New Year. Employees are not allowed to change their coverage at-will midyear unless there is a qualifying event (check with the Human Resources Department for more details on qualifying events). Restrictions apply (i.e., waiting periods for pre-existing conditions). (Consult your insurance carrier or the Human Resources Department.) Employees who do not work during the summer months but are returning in the fall, will continue to be covered. Staff not paid 12 months must prepay premiums before the beginning of a pay period by bringing a check into the Business Office for the amount normally deducted from their biweekly paycheck to cover their portion of the insurance program in order to avoid cancellation of the coverage.

10.6 Life Insurance

Members can enroll, or increase their coverage, at any time. You can enroll for, or increase coverage, without proof of good health within 30 days of a marriage, a change in marital status, or the birth or adoption of a child. New employees (30 days from date of employment) can receive up to $50,000 of optional life insurance coverage without providing proof of good health. Optional Life is available for Spouse and Children. All benefit eligible employees are covered for 1.5 times their annualized salary at no cost (free) while employed. Contact Human Resources for further details. Dollar amounts are subject to change.

10.7 Disability Insurance

After six months (180 days) of certified total disability, an employee may receive compensation equal to 60% of state salary. (Percentage will be reduced if employee is receiving any other form of disability pay, SSI, retirement pay, etc.)

10.8 Shared Leave

Employees who work 50% of the time or more and meet eligibility requirements are eligible for

Shared Leave. The Shared Leave policy is posted on the Official Bulletin Board just outside of the Human Resources Department, and in the Human Resources Office. (REF: K.A.R. 1-9-23) Shared Leave is for situations considered to be "catastrophic or life threatening" to one's self or one's immediate family. A three member Department of Personnel Services (DPS) committee must approve all requests before any donations from state employees are solicited. Employees are not eligible for Shared Leave if they are receiving worker's compensation benefits. Under extenuating circumstances the Superintendent may, at the committee's discretion, overrule the decision of the committee.

10.9 Sick Leave

Benefit eligible Classified and Unclassified NONEXEMPT employees receive Sick Leave for the pay period worked at the rate of:

Sick Leave Time for Nonexempt Employees

.

Hours in Pay status Per Pay Period

Hours Earned Per Pay Period

00-07

0.0

08-15

0.4

16-23

0.8

24-31

1.2

332-39

1.6

40-47

2.0

48-55

2.4

56-63

2.8

64-71

3.2

72-79

3.6

80+

3.7

Nonexempt employees shall only use sick leave increments of a quarter (.25) of an hour. Benefit eligible Classified and Unclassified EXEMPT employees receive sick leave according to the number of days worked in their pay period.

SICK LEAVE TABLE FOR EXEMPT EMPLOYEES

TIME IN PAY STATUS PER PAY PERIOD

HOURS EARNED PER PAY PERIOD

0

0.0

>00

3.7

SICK LEAVE PAYOUT AT RETIREMENT

8 Years

800-999 Hours

Paid 240 Hours/30 days

15 Years

1000-1199 Hours

Paid 360 Hours/45 days

25 Years

1200+ Hours

Paid 480 Hours/60 days

Exempt employees, including part-time exempt employees, shall only use sick leave in either half (4 hour) or full (8 hour) day increments.

Sick leave with pay shall be granted for the following reasons:

· Illness or disability of the employee including pregnancy, childbirth miscarriage, abortion, and recovery therefrom

· Illness or disability, including pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage, abortion, and recovery therefrom, of a member of the employee's family when the illness or disability reasonably requires the employee to be absent from work. "Employee's family" shall be limited to: Persons related to the employee by blood, marriage, or adoption.

Minors residing in the employee's home because of court proceedings pursuant to the Kansas code for care of children or Kansas juvenile offender's code.

· The employee's personal appointments with a physician, dentist, or other recognized health practitioner.

· Legal quarantine of the employee. (REF: K.A.R. 1-9-5)(C)

** Sick leave will not be granted in place of absences other than illness.

10.10 Vacation Leave

Vacation Leave/Designated Employees Only

If an employee is entitled to vacation leave with pay it shall be earned and accumulated as shown in the following table per pay period:

VACATION LEAVE TABLE FOR NONEXEMPT EMPLOYEES

Hours Earned Per Pay Period Based on Length of Service

Time in Pay Status Per Pay Period

Less Than 5 Years

5 Years & Less Than 10 Years

10 Years & Less Than 15 Years

15 Years & Over

00-07

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

08-15

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

16-23

0.8

1.0

1.2

1.4

24-31

1.2

1.5

1.8

2.1

32-39

1.6

2.0

2.4

2.8

40-47

2.0

2.5

3.0

3.5

48-55

2.4

3.0

3.6

4.2

56-63

2.8

3.5

4.2

4.9

64-71

3.

24.0

4.8

5.6

72-79

3.6

4.5

5.4

6.3

80+00

3.7

4.7

5.6

6.5

Nonexempt employees shall only use vacation leave in increments of a quarter of an hour.

VACATION LEAVE TABLE FOR EXEMPT EMPLOYEES

Hours Earned Per Pay Period Based on Length of Service

Time in Pay Status Per Pay Period

Less Than 5 Years

5 Years & Less Than 10 Years

10 Years & Less Than 15 Years

15 Years & Over

00

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

>0

3.7

4.7

5.6

6.5

Maximum Accumulation of Hours

144.0

176.0

208.0

240.0

Exempt Employees, including part-time exempt employees, shall only use vacation leave in either half or full-day increments.

10.11 Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

As a State benefit eligible employee who has worked six months at KSSB, you are entitled to be covered under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) up to 12 weeks paid and or unpaid leave based on a "rolling year". Please refer to the FMLA policy posted on the Official Bulletin Board near the Human Resources Director's Office. Staff are sent an inquiry if they miss more than three workdays in a row.

Employees are to turn in their Application for Leave immediately upon return to work or in advance if possible, (i.e., doctor's appointments), to be approved by your supervisor and to alert them to your absence. If an employee is sick for three consecutive work days or more a doctor's statement is to be given to your supervisor upon return to work. It shall be the policy of KSSB to reserve the right to verify employee's reason for use of sick leave and their ability to return to full and unrestricted duties of their position. A doctor's statement and/or

release to return to work may be required for any use of sick leave even for one day. REF: 1-9-3

(a), 1-9-5 (a, d, f)

Up to twelve (12) weeks of paid sick leave and/or Leave Without Pay (LWOP) can be used for absence from work because of pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, childbirth and the recovery therefrom. (See FMLA policy in Human Resources) A physician's statement may be requested to decide probable birth and is required after birth to return to work. Any additional time off will require a special request for a Leave of Absence and must be approved by the Superintendent.

Annual leave requests are submitted to an employee's supervisor with at least two weeks notice to ensure that the work of the School can be accomplished during the employee's absence.

10.12 Military Leave

Any employee who is a member of the National Guard or U.S. Military reserve unit, shall be granted a leave of absence with pay for the duration of any official call to duty or for the annual training period that shall be limited to twelve calendar days in any calendar year. Any additional military time will be taken as vacation time or leave without pay unless specified by the Governor. (K.A.R. 1-9-7) (See FMLA policy for use for Military Leave for families.)

10.13 Funeral Leave

An Appointing Authority may grant leave with pay to an employee who is working 50% of the time or more upon the death of a close relative. Such leave shall not exceed six (6) working days. The Supervisor shall consider the employee's relationship to the deceased and the necessary travel time among the factors considered in determining whether to grant leave, and if so, the amount of leave to be granted. To insure consistency regarding the use of funeral leave, "close relative" shall be defined as: spouse, child, (step) mother, (step) father, brother, sister, foster parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, cousin, or a relative permanently residing in the employee's household. (REF: K.A.R. 1-9-12)

10.14 Extended Leave of Absence

Leave without pay may be granted to an employee, for an extended illness, temporary disability, or other good or sufficient reason considered in the best interest of the Kansas State School for the Blind, not to exceed one (1) year. Such leave shall be requested in writing by the employee on an Application for Leave form. The Appointing Authority must approve the request. If the employee does not return to work at the end of her approved time, her employment status will be officially terminated. (REF: K.A.R. 1-9-6)

10.15 Jury Duty

Benefit eligible employees shall be granted leave when summoned for jury duty, or to comply with a subpoena as a witness before the civil service board, the Kansas Commission on Civil Rights, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or a court. An employee shall NOT be entitled to leave with pay in circumstances where the employee is called as a witness on the employee's own behalf in an action in which the employee is a party. When jury duty leave is requested and taken by an employee, his/her regular salary will be received. Jury duty pay may be retained by the employee if the amount does not exceed $50.00. You must obtain from the court a written statement showing the days you served as a juror or as a subpoenaed witness. This statement of service is to be given to your supervisor and forwarded with your Application for Leave to the Human Resources Department. (REF: K.A.R. 1-9-8)

10.16 Official Leave

In general, Official Leave is used for attending seminars, workshops, and other official meetings that will benefit the school upon the employee's return. Unclassified employees must request Official Leave to attend off campus training, seminars, workshops, or other meetings on scheduled work days whether the school pays for the expenses or not.

10.17 Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS)

KSSB employees whose positions are at least 1,000 hours (50%) per year and who are not temporary employees are covered by KPERS. Participation is mandatory.

Effective July 1, 2009, new employees will be immediate members and not have a waiting year. This system provides disability benefits, a retirement plan, and a death benefit. Should a nonvested member resign, he/she may elect to leave his/her contributions up to five years or apply, after 31 days, to withdraw his contributions by filing an application with KPERS. Once vested (5 years) effective 7/1/09, employees may leave their contributions in the retirement system until they reach retirement eligibility. Please contact KPERS for current and specific information or call 1-888-275-5737; Website: www.kpers.org.

***The Legislature has passed changes to your KPERS benefits beginning in 2014.

TIER 1

Tier 1- Now

Tier 1 (Change) January 2014

Tier 1 (Change) January 2015+

4% contributions

Increase to 5% contributions

Increase to 6% contributions

1.75% multiplier

Increase to 1.85% multiplier (future service only)

Continue with 1.85% multiplier

TIER 2

Tier 2

(members hired July 1, 2009+)

Tier 2

6% contributions

Continue with 6% contributions

1.75% multiplier

Have COLA increase

Increase to 1.85% multiplier

ALL services, not just future Starts January 2014

Lose COLA starting July 2012 (Doesn't affect members retiring before July 2012)

TIER 3

Tier 3 (members hired January 2015 & after)

Tier 3

6% contributions

Continue with 6% contributions

No multiplier

No COLA increase

Contributions earn 4% interest annually (paid quarterly). There is also a possibility of additional interest, depending on KPERS' investment returns.

You earn retirement credits while working. They are based on a percentage of your pay and the number of years you've worked. These credits can only be used at retirement.

10.18 Miscellaneous Benefits

· Tax-sheltered benefits - Available through various state approved companies. Contact Human Resources for more information on Deferred Compensation Plan (Section 457 of IRS code) and Voluntary Tax Shelter Annuities (Section 403(b) of IRS code)

· Service Awards - For recognition upon 10, 20, 30 and 40 years of employment.

· Social Security (FICA tax or OASDI) - Employee and employer contributions are deposited with the Social Security Administration and are available to employees in the form of retirement, disability, and death benefits. For further information contact your local Social Security office.

· Unemployment Insurance - Employees of KSSB are under the Kansas Unemployment Compensation Act. This act was designed to provide a program of insurance on a short-term basis for the payment of benefits to former employees of the State who, through NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN, have been temporarily restricted from gainful employment. All employees are covered by the act. However, employees who are under contract for nine months or who accept a position that is less than twelve months are NOT eligible for unemployment compensation during the summer months IF THEY ARE RETURNING the next school year. The eligibility or disqualification of each staff member who separates from KSSB employment will be based on the type of separation. A claimant must initiate the claim at her nearest State Employment Security/Job Services Office.

· Workers' Compensation - Income protection for ON THE JOB injuries. Payment of medical bills and other benefits specified by law, providing documentation was completed within the required time frame of the accident. You will receive further information when you complete an accident form.

· Long Term Care Insurance

· Other benefits - Credit for months not worked that is extended to staff not working during the summer months (due to school requirements) includes; service credit for longevity pay, service pins, leave accrual rate, and classified step movement on the salary schedule.