Montana Catholic Schools Weekly

May 1, 2016

Contracts, Benefits, and HR

It’s contract time so I thought I would share a few thoughts and resources to help principals during this frantic season. My hope is that you (and your pastor, bookkeeper, etc) will take the time to review these guidelines before issuing contracts and work agreements.

In the principal portal, I have included PDF-fillable contracts for teachers and work agreements for staff members (both full- and part-time). For most benefits, the 30 hour threshold is when benefits apply. The exception in the Diocese of GFB is the retirement benefit kicks in at 20 hours per week.

There are two kinds of staff members which are outlined in Section 4000 of the Policy Manual: 10 month employees (such as cooks and kitchen aides) and 12 month staff members who work all year. This is an important distinction because 10 month staff members receive sick and personal days in the same manner as teachers whereas 12 month staff members accrue vacation days. In fact, 12 month staff members don’t need to fill out annual contracts because their agreements simply roll over.

Teachers sign a 12 month contracts and their pay/benefits are spread out over 12 months. If a teacher resigns effective at the end of the school year, they are still eligible for benefits and pay through the summer (usually until August). However, if an hourly 10 month staff member resigns, his/her benefits extend only to the last day of the month of termination.

The question that seems to arise every year is salary/hourly and exempt/non-exempt. The simplest distinction is that teachers and professional staff should be considered exempt from overtime and should receive a salary. Here is the exempt/non-exempt salary test. Staff members should be considered hourly and non-exempt from overtime, meaning that they should be paid at time-and-a-half for hours worked in excess of 40 per week (note that personal, holiday, and vacation days do not count toward hours worked).

However, you can compute the average hours expected to work for a 10 month staff member and stretch that out over 12 months into a de facto salary. This would help you spread out your expenses and would also lessen the impact of elected deductions over the summer. For example, if a 10-month hourly employee elected to receive his/her pay based on hours worked in a pay period (and not stretched out over the summer) and signed up for benefits deduction such as family health coverage, that employee would owe the school money over the summer to continue coverage. It couldn’t simply be deducted from his/her paycheck. If that money wasn’t paid, the employee would lose coverage due to termination. If the employee opted to spread out pay over 12 months, then you could deduct from that check.

All non-exempt/hourly employees must record hours worked and paychecks must be adjusted to account for overtime. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Dr. Tim Uhl, Superintendent

The Week Ahead

Sunday: fly to Los Angeles

Monday: WCEA Elementary Commissioners Meeting, Day 1 (LA)

Tuesday: WCEA Elementary Commissioners Meeting, Day 2 (LA)

Wednesday: WCEA Secondary Commissioners Meeting (LA)

Thursday: return to Helena

Friday: travel to Billings for Mayfair (evening)

Saturday: Mayfair (evening)

This week: 485 driving miles; 2,344 air miles

Last week: 623 miles

2015-16: 25,751 driving miles; 12,625 air miles

What I'm Reading in 2016

  1. Getting it Done: How to Lead When You're Not in Charge by Roger Fisher & Alan Sharp
  2. What College Trustees Need to Know (on deck)
  3. Motion Leadership in Action: More Skinny on Becoming Change Savvy by Michael Fullan (finished)
  4. HBR's 10 Must Reads "On Emotional Intelligence" (finished)
  5. A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby Payne (finished)
  6. The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations by John P. Kotter (finished)
  7. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen (finished)
  8. Motion Leadership by Michael Fullan (finished)
  9. The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda (finished)
  10. It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff (finished)
  11. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip & Greg Heath (finished)
  12. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeon (finished)
  13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (finished)
  14. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (finished)
  15. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (finished)
  16. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (finished)
  17. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (finished)

Song of the week: Alan Jackson's "Remember When"

Montana Catholic Schools

Serving 3800+ students in 24 Catholic schools across the Treasure State

For Principals

  1. The Great Falls Task Force now has a web page with links to all meetings notes, etc.
  2. The Principal/President Evaluation process is now underway. Principals & presidents filled out goal statements last fall and will be asked to evaluate themselves as part of the process. Here is the form that I will fill out, too. I have scheduled dates for these interviews when I will come and visit the school and observe the learning climate, share the perception data, and talk about the principal's performance this year. The dates: Don Peoples, Butte Central (May 9th); Lauren Smith, St. Matt's (May 11th); Br. Dale Mooney, DLSBS (May 12th); Julanne Gauger, St. Jude (TBD).
  3. The Annual Report template is now posted and ready for each principal. This Annual Report is due June 9th at the June Principal Meeting in Livingston.

American Catholic News

Leadership Links

Teaching & Learning

"Is Educational Technology Really a Waste of Time?"


Case Study: University of Montana + Double Robotics