Board discusses retirement benefits

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Director of Employee Services Tabatha Gundrum provided information on the voluntary early retirement (VER) package for teachers at the Board of Education regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 3.

The most recent VER benefit was approved by the Board in 2015 and was good through June 30, 2018. The District is recommending keeping the benefit the same and having it go through June 30, 2022.

"We've always respected how much our teaching staff values this benefit,'' Superintendent George Mavroulis said.

Teachers who intend to retire must notify the District by Feb. 1 and be at least 55 years old and have 15 years of service with the District to be eligible for the VER benefit, which includes HRA payments for up to seven years worth up to $92,000 to those currently on a District health plan and a special pay stipend of $10,000 per year for three years. There is also a sick leave payout for those who are eligible.

There is also a Voluntary Early Early Retirement (VEER) benefit. A teacher who has worked in the District for 25 years and is at least 50 years of age is eligible. They can receive HRA payments of $10,000 a year for up to five years and a special pay stipend of $5,000 a year for up to three years.

Gundrum noted the current version of the VER benefit has been in place for more than 10 years. She said the extension is important to veteran staff, who know they can work a couple of more years without worrying about the benefit being changed or eliminated. Bob Green said he thinks the benefit helps retain staff.  

Mavroulis said the item will be brought back for approval next week.

In other news from Monday's meeting:

* Anne Bauer, Bob Green, Bob Hesselbein and Todd Smith indicated they plan to attend the Wisconsin Association of School Boards State Education Convention in Milwaukee on Jan. 22-25. Paul Kinne tentatively said he plans to go. Mavorulis will e-mail an itinerary once it is finalized and reminded Board members they don't need to attend the entire conference.

* Bob Hesselbein (Area IV), Kelly Kalscheur (Area I) and Todd Smith (Area IV) declared their intention to run for re-election for the Board. Kurt Karbusicky (Area III), who was elected in 2016, has decided not to run.

* The Board approved letters of support for special education funding and dual enrollment credential grants that were discussed by their legislative committee at its meeting on Nov. 16. The Board made a few edits and removed some wording from each draft letter.

* The Board approved the granting of an easement to the owner at 1103 Park St. in Cross Plains

Steve and Kim Schunk currently own the property in a revocable trust. Prior to Schunk's ownership, a garage located on the property extended beyond the line into the District's property at Park Elementary. The easement also states the owner may not install or construct any additional improvements or create any further encroachments upon the parcel without the District's prior written consent.
Director of Business Services Lori Ames noted there haven't been any issues although the owners are considering selling the property.