Supt. of Schools Dr. Colleen Palmer proposed early retirement incentives to avoid laying off three custodians and five paraprofessionals and Board of Education members granted unanimous approval at their meeting Monday night.
Paraprofessionals with a minimum of 15 years of service and age 55 or older are eligible to retire by June 30,2011 and receive a $5,000 payment this June and another $5,000 payment in 2012.
Custodians age 64 and older with at least 10 years of service are eligible for $10,000 this June and two years credit in their pension plan if they choose early retirement.
Palmer said nine paraprofessionals and five custodians meet the criteria. She said the district is hoping to entice people already thinking about early retirement to accept the offers.
"You never know who's gonna take this until an offer's on the table," Palmer said.
She said the offers are based on feedback from both unions.
Mark Hughes, Board of Education secretary, said it could be a challenge for those who have health insurance to take a buyout and suggested making the custodians' proposal more attractive by doubling the amount to $20,000.
Mark Antinozzi, a fellow board member, pointed out that more taxes would be taken out with that amount.
Hughes then said that maybe something pre-taxed for health care could be offered. Antinozzi agreed with Hughes that the health insurance issue was a concern, but the board ultimately voted on the proposals as is, passing both unanimously.
Palmer said notices would go out to employees on Tuesday allowing the paraprofessionals and custodians time to assess their personal finances and to ask questions before making a decision by early June.