The Vigo County School Corporation had planned to cut support staff hours so the district wouldn’t have to pay for health insurance as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
But President Obama recently announced he was delaying the mandate that all employees working 30 hours or more per week be given benefits until 2015.
So, Vigo County Superintendent Daniel Tanoos says his district is also delaying its cuts, restoring hours and pay to the districts bus drivers, instructional aides, and cafeteria workers.
“Right now we’re going to go back to treating our employees with dignity, and giving them back the hours that were cut and the money that was taken out of their pockets,” Tanoos says.
The cuts are being postponed until at least January 1 but school officials plan to meet this fall to figure out a longer term plan. That means workers could find themselves working a full schedule the fall semester, then be put on a reduced schedule in the spring.
Tanoos told the IRS at a hearing in April that the impact of the Affordable Care Act would be catastrophic on his school district. He says the delay does not fix that problem. It only kicks the can down the road.
“We’ve thought it was a bad law from the beginning, in terms of the way it was written and changed by the IRS, and we had to take away powers even though we were going to pay our employees the same amount,” Tanoos says.
Despite restoring most part-time hours, the school district still plans to scale back on field trips—a measure meant to reduce back bus drivers’ hours.