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A115 - District Separation Incentive (SI)

 Administrative Letter #15 District Separation Incentive (SI) - Approved 03-16-2016

DATE:                March 16, 2016

FROM:                Lyle Cox, Human Resource Executive Director

REGARDING:      District Separation Incentive (SI)

District Policy 1320 authorizes the School Board to open or close access to the District Separation Incentive (SI) program (formally known as the early retirement incentive).   While the SI has traditionally been available each year, the Board has the responsibility to consider funding, attrition rates, and applicant availability as critical factors in deciding if the window of opportunity should remain open or temporarily close from year to year.   Yesterday afternoon at the Board's regularly scheduled meeting, the Board passed an action item to allow the SI to remain open for one more year and then close access until further notice.  In other words, eligible employees will have the opportunity to participate in the SI by applying by January 31, 2017, with a retirement date in June or July of 2017.  After that window closes the SI will remain closed until further notice.  The following Q&A may help in understanding this decision.

Question:  Will the Board open the SI at some point after the 2017 window closes?

Answer:  The Board did not remove the Policy completely, it simply closed the access until further notice.  We anticipate the window for SI access will open again but it may be two or more years before the decision is made to do so.

Question:  What factors will the Board consider if they decide to open the window again?

Answer:  They will continue to monitor funding necessary to offer the incentive, employee attrition rates, and the availability of qualified applicants that can replace employees accepting the SI.

Question:  Closing the window is forcing me to retire earlier so I can take advantage of the program. I do not want to retire next year, what should I do?

Answer:  As always, the decision to retire or continue working is an individual decision.  The Board allowed the window to remain open for one more year to provide both notice and opportunity.  They did not want to close the window until employees had one more opportunity to participate.

Please understand the decision to temporarily close the SI window was not made without careful and thoughtful consideration of the concerns of employees and the need to manage District resources.  The Board feels confident that another opportunity will eventually present itself but cannot make assurances about the timing of such an opportunity.

Lyle Cox

Executive Director of Human Resources

Washington County School District

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