Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco schools consider cutting early retirement benefit

LAND O'LAKES — Pasco County School District officials revealed their plans for a $1.5 million budget cut on Wednesday, almost 24 hours after the School Board preliminarily approved the spending plan with the reduction listed as "Item 2."

The proposal calls for the district to end a monthly payment it had given to employees who retired early but did not meet state requirements for full retirement benefits. Any employee not in the program by Oct. 1 would not be permitted to enter.

Officials estimate the district would save about $1.5 million in the current fiscal year.

"In these times when we're trying to do everything we can for our employees, we have to do what's feasible and, frankly, where we get the biggest bang for our buck," interim employee relations director Tom Neesham said when introducing the proposal during contract negotiations with noninstructional staff. "Looking at this annuity, it's time to put that to bed."

Ed Ronda, lead negotiator for the United School Employees of Pasco, said the item did not come as a total surprise. But it did raise concerns.

"We have employees that have worked 20, 25 years and have come to this point in their life, and they are planning to retire with this benefit," Ronda said. "I know individuals right now that have submitted for retirement under this," but not until November.

He asked why the board was pushing for the Oct. 1 implementation date.

No matter what date the board chose, Neesham said, someone would be affected. But without the cut, he said, the budget won't be balanced unless other reductions are found.

Board members said they knew about this proposal, as they discussed it as one of many options during closed-door sessions with staff.

Superintendent Kurt Browning pointedly refused to reveal it during the board's budget hearing on Tuesday, though, saying it would need to come out through negotiations.

Board member Joanne Hurley said that made for an "awkward" public hearing, because of transparency concerns. She said she was glad the recommendation, which she supported, had come out publicly before the final budget hearing in September.

An "Item 1," with a price tag of $1 million, remains in the offing for a future bargaining session.

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at jsolochek@tampabay.com or on Twitter @jeffsolochek. Visit the Gradebook for more education news, tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook.

Pasco schools consider cutting early retirement benefit 07/31/13 [Last modified: Thursday, August 1, 2013 12:03am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up

    Blogs

    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Tampa Bay Times honored for top investigative story in Gerald Loeb annual business awards

    Business

    The Tampa Bay Times was a co-winner in the investigative category for one of the highest honors in business journalism.

    Tampa Bay Times current and former staff writers William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash and Anthony Cormier were honored in the investigative category for their coverage of "Allegiant Air" in the 60th Anniversary Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. 
[JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times

]

  3. Pasco woman gives birth to child fathered by 11 year old, deputies say

    Crime

    A Port Richey woman was arrested Tuesday, nearly three years after deputies say she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old boy.

    Marissa Mowry, 25, was arrested Tuesday on charges she sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and gave birth to his child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.