Chicago – The City Colleges of Chicago Board of Trustees voted today to freeze sick day pay-outs for non-union employees, saving the district an estimated $525,000 over the next five years. The recommended changes stem from an ongoing, comprehensive review of benefits ordered by Chancellor Cheryl L. Hyman in fall 2010, which has already led to a series of significant changes to employee benefits policies yielding more than $1 million in annual savings.
The policy changes apply to all administrators and non‐bargained for employees hired before January 1, 2012. The amended policy caps the number of sick days that can be paid to employees upon retirement at the number of days accumulated by July 1, 2012 or upon the date of retirement, whichever is less, not to exceed 200 days. If the employee has already earned 200 days, they would – upon retirement – be paid the amount accumulated as of July 1st or upon the date of retirement, whichever is less. In a November action, the Board had imposed a more stringent policy on new hires.
“These reforms allow us to make wiser use of public funds while ensuring that our employees’ needs are met,” said Chancellor Cheryl L. Hyman. “This decision is a critical step in our on-going efforts to make our operations more efficient and live up to our responsibility to serve as a good steward of taxpayer dollars.”
“Today’s vote again demonstrates that City Colleges is committed to delivering on Mayor Emanuel’s charge to reinvent itself to better serve taxpayers and students alike,” said Paula Wolff, Chair, City Colleges of Chicago Board of Trustees.
Under the amended policy, employees hired before 2012 will still be able to use sick days to receive a service credit for the State Universities Retirement System (SURS). As a result of a board vote in November 2011, new employees hired in 2012 already cannot “cash out” sick days at the end of employment and the number of days they are allowed to accumulate is also capped at 200. The policy applies to all administrators and non‐bargained for employees hired on or after January 1, 2012.
Employees who leave City Colleges for any reason other than retirement cannot cash out any sick days under the existing City Colleges policy.
Through a variety of reforms currently in place, City Colleges has already reduced its benefits liability by more than $1 million a year and brought benefits more in line with the current market. These reforms have included: ending sick day payouts for new non-union hires, increasing health insurance co-pays and deductibles, ending premium-free health care for senior City Colleges leaders and rescinding free lifetime health care for those same leaders upon retirement.