Garfield Re-2 New Hire Information and Paperwork

We are excited to welcome all of our new teachers to the Garfield Re-2 School District.  We have uploaded all of the paperwork that is necessary for you to complete prior to beginning work at Garfield Re-2.  It is IMPORTANT that you complete each form in order to receive a pay check in August. Most forms are provided in Adobe Acrobat format. You can access the previous document page by pressing the back button.


The entire new hire paperwork packet can be downloaded in one file here.


Please download and work through each page/form and mail the completed forms back to Garfield School District No. Re-2, C/O Jennifer Rhoades, 839 Whiteriver Ave., Rifle, CO, 81650.

If you have questions about any of these forms, please contact Jennifer Rhoades at 970-665-7641 or email her at jrhoades@garfieldre2.org. The Garfield Re-2 District Office fax number is 970-665-7623.

Other important information:

Each employee has a personal responsibility to seek out the correct informaton regarding policies and regulations. There is a policy manual located in each building administration office. You are always welcome to contact the Human Resource Department regarding any policies relating to Section G (the employee portion) of the manual and these policies are listed on line as well.

All payroll changes need to be made to the payroll office by the 5th of the month in order to be effective for that month's payroll. If a change is received after that date, we cannot guarantee that the change will be processed for that month's payroll. This includes any extra pays that you may be expecting.

If you have an address change, you need to contact the Human Resource Department. You will need to correct your address with PERA and insurance as well as with Garfield Re-2. The HR department can supply you with the appropriate forms to complete this change with all of the agencies.

Contact information for the Human Resources Department is as follows:

Jennifer Rhoades, Director of Human Resources 970-665-7641

Leanne Worton, Human Resource Secretary  970-665-7644

Lynn Alsop, Payroll Manager 970-665-7643

Becky Capwell, Substitute Coordinator 970-665-7640

Tamara Turza, Worker's Compensation Specialist 970-665-7612

I-9 Form and Employee Self Identification Form

Please complete the top section of the I-9 down to the Employee Signature line.  This form verifies that you are legally eligible to work in the United States.  You will need to bring two forms of Identification with you to the orientation meeting.  Please refer to the list of acceptable documents included with the I-9 form.


Attachment:

 2013_I-9.pdf

Form W-4

The W-4 will tell us how many withholdings you wish to claim each month.  You will need to put the number of withholdings on Line 5 of the form.  A larger number on line 5 means that we will take less out of your paycheck for taxes.  You can use the Personal Allowance Worksheet portion of the form if you like, but it is not required.  Make sure that you complete the section asking for your marital status.  If you choose Married but withhold at the higher single rate, it will appear on your paycheck as single.  Your withholding election is printed on your check statement each month for your information.


Attachment:

 W-4_Form_2013.pdf

PERA Form

Garfield Re-2 participates with the Colorado Public Employers Retirement Association rather than Social Security.  PERA is a replacement for social security and is not optional.  We will take 8% of your salary out of your check for PERA.  There is an Informational Packet attached that will help explain your PERA retirement.  If possible, you should designate a beneficiary for your PERA retirement.  If you need extra room to designate more than two beneficiaries, you can attach an additional sheet to the PERA enrollment form.


Attachment:

 PERA.pdf

Statement Concerning Your Employment in a Job Not Covered by Social Security

Since Garfield Re2 pays into PERA rather than Social Security, your employment with us will not contribute to social security retirement.  As well, if you retire with PERA and receive a retirement payment with PERA, social security may penalize any retirement that you have coming from them. 

Please read the social security form carefully and sign it at the bottom. 


Attachment:

 social_security.pdf

Direct Deposit Form

Garfield Re-2 pays once per month on the 15th of each month.  Your first full paycheck will be on August 15th.  All payroll checks are directly deposited.  You can deposit into any checking or savings account.  We can also divide your check up if you would like to have it deposited into more than one account or more than one bank.  Please make sure to attach a voided check if you are using a checking account and a deposit slip if you are using a savings account.

If you close the account that you use for direct deposit, you will need to let the payroll office know immediately.  If your check is sent to a closed account, we cannot issue another check until the funds have been returned back to Garfield Re-2.  This process can take a couple of days and potentially cause a delay in getting your check issued.


Attachment:

 direct_deposit.pdf

Employee Self Identification Form

Once per year, we are required to report to both CDE and EEO.  This form allows us to gather the information that we are required by law to submit regarding race and ethnicity.



Drug-Free Workplace Form

Garfield Re-2 is a drug-free workplace.  Please read the policy and sign the Employee Acknowledgment Form stating that you agree to follow the policy.  You will be required to sign this form every year of your employment with Garfield Re-2.



Authorized Use of Internet Services Employee Agreement and Computer Use

Every teacher is issued a laptop for your use while employed at Garfield Re-2.  Please read the Internet Use Agreement very carefully.  This agreement is taken very seriously and abuse of this policy can lead to termination.  The Computer Use form states that you are responsible for the good care of the computer and will return it in good condition or be held responsible for replacement costs. After reading the agreements, make sure that you sign and date the forms.


Attachment:

 Internet_use.pdf

Garfield Re-2 Approved 403B and 401k vendors

This is an approved list of vendors that offer 403b or 401k accounts to the employees of Garfield Re-2.  If you would like to set up an additional tax-sheltered retirement account as a payroll deduction, you can contact any of the individuals listed on this sheet.  You will need to supply a Salary Reduction Agreement to Lynn Alsop in the payroll office that includes the amount you want deducted and the effective date to start the deduction.  We will accept the Salary Reduction Agreement supplied by the various vendors.  We do not have a specific form that they need to complete.


Attachment:

 401_403.pdf

Sick Bank Form

Garfield Re-2 provides a sick bank policy for our full-time employees.  Please review policy GBGH for rules regarding sick bank leave.  Please keep in mind that this policy is available for use only for the employee’s illness.  You cannot use sick bank leave to care for a family member.  As well, this policy is intended for unforeseen illnesses.  The birth of a child is not considered to be unforeseen and is not eligible for sick bank leave.

Participation in the sick leave bank is automatic unless you submit a request to the payroll office within 20 days of the start of your employment stating that you do not wish to be part of the bank.

If a situation arises that requires you to care for a family member and you are out of sick leave, please call Jennifer Rhoades, the Director of Human Resources.  There are other policies that may be applicable to your situation that would help defray your leave without pay.


Attachment:

 gbgh.pdf

Sick Leave and Personal Leave

All full-time teachers are given five days of sick leave and five days of personal leave for use throughout the year.  If all sick leave is exhausted, sick days will be taken from your personal leave balance. 

Personal leave must be approved by your building administrator at least three days in advance.  Under no circumstances can personal leave be granted following a regularly scheduled holiday or summer break.  If you don’t use your personal days, the balance is rolled into your sick leave balance at the end of the year. 

You can accumulate sick leave from year to year up to 180 days.  Upon leaving the district via resignation, termination, or retirement, your sick leave balance will be paid to you at the rate of ½ the daily rate of a substitute teacher.  

For a detailed description of sick and personal leave, you should refer to Policy GBGG.  Please keep in mind that the Human Resource office will refer to the policy when a leave is submitted.  The language in the policies is ultimately your responsibility.  If you are given incorrect information from another staff member (including your building administrator), the Human Resource office will still defer to the policy manual for a final ruling.  If you have any questions regarding a leave policy, you are encouraged to call the Human Resource Department for clarification.



The insurance rates, coverage descriptions and enrollment form are provided below.

HEALTH INSURANCE FAQ

ALL EMPLOYEES CURRENTLY ON PPO3 MUST COMPLETE AN ENROLLMENT CHANGE CARD DURING OPEN ENROLLMENT.

WHEN COMPLETING AN ENROLLMENT CHANGE CARD, YOU MUST MARK ALL PRODUCTS THAT YOU WANT TO KEEP INCLUDING VOLUNTARY DENTAL AND VOLUNTARY VISION.  (If voluntary dental and/or vision are not marked, CEBT will assume that you are canceling your coverage.)

1.  Why does insurance cost so much at Re2?  My friend can get their coverage so much cheaper through their employer?

  Insurance premiums are high throughout the nation.  Our premiums are very competitive with the premiums from other group plans.  The difference lies in the amount that the employer can subsidize the premium.  In general, most school districts cannot contribute nearly as much toward insurance benefits as other entities. 

2.  Then, why does the insurance at Roaring Fork Re-1 cost so much less than our coverage?

  Actually, our coverage is currently less expensive than their coverage.  The difference lies in the way we pay for coverage.  Most employers take the full insurance premium and subtract the amount that they contribute; so, you just see the difference on your paycheck stub.  We process ours differently.  We pay you an allowance.  It shows as earned income on the top of your paycheck stub.  Then, we deduct the full amount of the premium. The net effect on your check is the same, but there are benefits that you get with the way we pay as opposed to the other way.  For one, if you choose a plan that cost less than the insurance allowance, the remaining benefit stays in your check as additional income. Secondly, if you are in your Highest Average Salary years prior to retirement, you can opt for your premiums to come out after-tax.  This allows you to show a significant increase in your retirement salary.  Consequently, your retirement return is driven up significantly.

3.  Since we are given an insurance allowance, am I paying taxes on that money?

  That depends on your individual situation.  If you choose a product that is less expensive than the allowance, you will have to pay taxes on the difference that stays in your net check as additional income.  The premiums that are paid for insurance fall under the Section 125 statute that allows them to come out pre-tax.  This means that any amount of the allowance covering the cost of insurance is not being taxed.

4.  Why do I need to change my insurance coverage to after-tax prior to retirement?  Won’t that drive my taxable income up and cost me money?

  Yes, changing your insurance to after-tax will drive up the taxes and PERA that you pay.  However, it also drives up the amount that you will receive from PERA during retirement.  Every person needs to look at their individual situation.  If the increased retirement is more important to you than having to pay the increased taxes, you should contact the payroll office to make the changes necessary.  Because PERA uses a maximum increase calculation to calculate your Highest Average Salary years, you should make the changes four years prior to your anticipated retirement date with PERA.

5.  If I let AFLAC know that I want everything after-tax will that suffice? 

  No. AFLAC forms do not govern the medical insurance coverage.  To change the insurance premiums to after-tax, you need to contact our payroll office.

6.  I have reached my maximum-out-of-pocket for my plan this year.  Why do I still have to pay for doctor’s visits, etc.?

  Co-pays for doctor’s visits, labs, and prescriptions do not go toward your deductible or the maximum-out-of-pocket shown under your coverage.  They are additional costs to you.

 7.  Why did you discontinue offering PPO3?

The decision to drop PPO3 was made after a cost/benefit analysis was done using premiums versus benefits.  The additional premium cost to purchase PPO3 over one year was $448.92 more than PPO4.  The additional premium payments would be a guaranteed cost to the employee.  If the employee experiences an illness requiring the deductible to be met, the difference is $500.  Basically, this means that the potential loss for someone suffering an illness/accident was $51.08 if something happened.  If the illness/accident was severe enough to force the employee to reach maximum-out-pocket, the difference in the amount payable is $250 annually.  This means the employee could potentially save $197.61 having PPO4 instead of PPO3 because the PPO3 premium cost is so much higher.

8.  Why don’t we join other districts to bring our rates down?

  We currently are part of a pool of school districts, municipalities, and other government entities that group together to bring rates down.  The group is a non-profit organization called the Colorado Educational Benefit Trust (CEBT).  There are approximately 17,000 members enrolled through the trust.

 

9.  Do we go out to bid for insurance every year?

  We monitor the insurance situation every year.  We take the options to Collaborative Solutions to review as well as talk to various insurance brokers to get a feel for the market.  If it looks like we may be able to get a favorable bid, we go through the bid process.  The bids include input from any insurance company that is willing to work in this area.  We usually use local brokers for this process.  Sometimes, the brokers look at our current rates and know that they won’t be able to provide competitive bid numbers.  This most often takes place in years when a premium holiday is offered.  During those years, we do not go out to bid.

10.  Can I be part of the insurance committee?

  Yes, any staff member can be on the committee.  We put out a call for volunteers at the beginning of the year.  The staff member just needs to contact Jennifer Rhoades at the District Office to let her know that they want to participate.  The first few meetings are focused on education about the process.  If we feel like you can be brought up-to-speed with the rest of the group, we allow late-entry members.  However, if we have covered too much information in previous meetings for you to be well-informed, we may ask you to wait until the next year to join the group.

11.  If I am full-time, do I have to sign up for the school district’s coverage?

  Yes, the school district has a 100% eligibility clause for insurance coverage.  This clause gives us an 8% credit on our premium rates. Having everyone covered helps keep the rates down by balancing out the severe illnesses with those that are healthy.  If we didn’t require coverage for everyone, the likelihood is that fewer healthy people would be enrolled and it would force the rates up significantly because the pool would be much smaller.

12.  What is the HRP plan?

  The HRP plan is a Hospital Reimbursement Plan.  Employees that have coverage through their spouse may be able to elect the HRP plan as secondary coverage.  You do have to provide proof of other coverage.  The HRP plan only covers you if you are admitted and confined to the hospital.  It will cover up to $1000 per day for expenses that are not covered by your primary insurance plan.  The annual maximum that the HRP will pay is $30,000.  This plan allows us to meet the 100% eligibility requirement.

 13.  Is it best for me to pick the best coverage offered?

  It depends on your situation.  If you are a healthy person that rarely uses the coverage, it may make more sense for you to choose a lower option.  If you are concerned about the deductible if something happened, you may want to look at adding AFLAC supplemental coverage to help with the large claims.  We have several people that choose PPO5 and pick up AFLAC accident to help if they have an accident on the ski slopes or something like that.

 14. Why doesn’t the district just give us an allowance and let us find our own insurance?

  This is an option for the district.  At this point, the district has decided not to go down this road for several reasons.  1.  There would be an increase in cost to the district because at that point the insurance allowance would be considered salary.  The district would have to pay PERA and medicare on the insurance allowance.  2.  If we do not offer group medical, we would not be allowed to offer the Sect.125 benefits (ie. pre-tax insurance benefits, AFLAC, Cafeteria plans) to employees.  This would drive up the taxable gross for both the employee and the district consequently increasing the cost for both the employee and the district.  3.  Many individuals would not be able to get insurance for themselves or family members due to pre-existing conditions.



Safety Rules and Designated Provider Form

Garfield Re-2 provides workers compensation insurance through Pinnacol Assurance.

The Designated Provider Information Sheet and 2009-2010 Safety Rules need to be read, signed and dated.  These forms provide information that you will need to understand if you are injured on the job.  You will be required to complete these forms annually. 

If you are injured on the job, please see your building secretary for the proper paperwork to complete.  You need to report any injuries to your building secretary as soon as possible.  If you have any questions regarding Workers Compensation Insurance please contact Tamara Turza at (970) 665-7612. 

Please review  and acknowledge that you understand the Garfield Re-2 Safety Rules.


Please review and acknoledge that you understand the Workers' Compensation Designated Provider information.


Attachment:

 safety_rules.pdf