CIC studies budget, insurance, work agreements
The Natrona County School District's Compact Issues Committee, or CIC, on Monday heard reports on the district's budget and employee insurance and took action on employee work agreements.
The committee is comprised of representatives from all district stakeholders groups, including classified, certified and administrator employee groups, cabinet, trustees, students, parents and community members. The group works on a consensus basis to address issues related to the Compact, or the governing document of the district, particularly those related to district-employee relationships.
On Monday, CIC begin its 2009-10 work with an activity to build relationships, review history and renew its commitment to the Compact.
The group heard a report from Superintendent Dr. Joel Dvorak on the district's projected budget, which may see some changes in the coming biennium due to a state- and nationwide downturn in the economy. Though the district won't know until the spring what the Wyoming Legislature will allocate for schools, state leaders have urged caution for the coming two years in which districts may see their funding hold steady, or possibly even decline. NCSD has been working in advance to prepare for such a scenario with Dvorak calling on all schools, departments and divisions to prepare for potential shortfalls in their budgets and help identify ways to save money. He also is hosting Java with Joel sessions in the coming months to hear directly from employees about their ideas for improving efficiency, and the NCSD Board of Trustees will review ideas in November, long before the 2010-11 budget actually needs to be finalized.
In other news, the CIC insurance ad hoc committee updated the full group on their ongoing work to review and research employee insurance. Like much of the country, NCSD is seeing rising costs in its employee insurance costs, and the ad hoc committee has been charged with investigating if the current insurance carrier is the right choice for the district. In the past year, the group has worked to compare Cigna's costs and benefits with other carriers operating in the state, particularly in state government or K-12 education, and to determine if the rising costs are reasonable compared to other providers.
The CIC also took action on employee work agreements Monday, approving changes in all three agreements covering NCSD employees. No benefit or compensation issues were addressed with the changes. Specific updates included organizing the documents in an understandable way; clarifying phrases that had been identified as confusing by employees; aligning the documents to current practices; aligning the two agreements that cover the classified employee groups (the SEIO and NCAESS); and identifying areas for future clarification in the teachers' employment document, including the teacher evaluation instrument. As soon as the physical documents have been updated, they will be made available on FirstClass (District Resources>Human Resources>Work Agreements), as well as on the district's Web site -- www.natronaschools.org -- by clicking Departments>Human Resources>Compact or by clicking Employees.
Finally, the CIC set dates for its meetings for the remainder of the 2009-10 school year. The group will meet Jan. 25, March 22-23, and May 3, 4 and 6. The committee identified agenda items to send to the Leader Group for prioritization, and exact times, locations and agenda for the future CIC meetings will be determined at a later time.