Volume 8, Number 6, March 2015

In this issue:  ADE re-cert event | Education compensation | W-2 forms online | Student teacher workshop | Medical leave assistance program | Calendars | Keep your HR files current | ASRS contribution rate | Arrange for subs in advance

Calendar

March 11
Re-certify with ADE. Governing Board Room 1-4pm.

March 16-20
Schools on Spring Break 

March 19-20
District Offices on Spring Break 

April 3
April Break 

April 9
Student Teacher Workshop, Room 303, ASC, 4-5pm

ADE re-certification event

MPS is hosting a re-certification event with the Arizona Department of Education, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. March 11, 2015, Curriculum Services Center, Board Room, 549 N. Stapley Drive, Mesa. Employees may submit their completed renewal applications with the appropriate fees to ADE officials and receive their new teaching certificates immediately. Human Resources staff will also be on hand to roll your fingerprints, verify professional development activities and answer your questions on this process.

Education compensation

Under the new compensation plan, employees who complete coursework and/or degrees that meet the plan criteria will be compensated with an increase in their base salary or hourly rate, effective the following school year. The plan includes an annual deadline for reporting eligible coursework and/or degrees. The deadline to submit transcripts and documentation of coursework and/or degrees completed prior to December 31, 2015 has passed. Timelines for the current calendar year follow:

Certificated Contract and Administrative Staff 
Coursework taken between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015 must be PARFed and approved in order to receive salary credit. Coursework PARFed, approved and completed during calendar year 2015 will be used in calculating 2016-17 compensation. Official transcripts must be submitted to Human Resources no later than February 15, 2016.

Please refer to governing board policy GCBA-R for the complete guidelines and criteria. Questions may be directed to Ginger McCarty at 480-472-0408.

Classified Supervisors and Full-time or Part-time Hourly Staff 
Approved coursework and/or professional development classes completed between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015 will be used in calculating 2016-17 compensation. Documentation of completed classes, in a block of 15 professional development credits, must be submitted to Human Resources no later than February 15, 2016.

Please refer to governing board policy GDBA-R and the Professional Development Guidelines for Classified Employees for complete criteria and information. Questions may be directed to Karen Palmer at 480-472-0428.

MPS W-2 forms online

All employees may view and print their pay-stubs and W-2s through a secure website. Pay-stubs and the W-2 form will be stored on this site for future reference. This service not only provides MPS employees with a convenient way to access payroll information, but also conserves MPS resources by limiting printing and mailing costs. Those employees who do not have direct deposit continue to receive live checks and can also view their pay-stubs on the secure website.

Go to the Payroll Department website and click on the "Pay Stubs Online" banner for your pay stubs or the "New MPS Pay Portal" banner for your 2014 W-2.  Be sure to close the Internet browser when you are finished to ensure a safe log-out. If you have problems registering, you can contact the Payroll office at 472-0444.

MPS hosts student teacher workshop

All student teachers are invited to a workshop on applications, interviews and the hiring process. The workshop is scheduled for 4 p.m., April 9, 2015, at the Administration Services Center, third floor room 303.

Medical leave assistance program helps colleagues

The district's Medical Leave Assistance Program allows employees to donate their own sick leave to other employees.

See Board Policy GBBD and Regulation 2 for Details 
Specific guidelines are in Governing Board policy GBBD: Leaves and Absences, and in its regulation (2) on sick leave. Additional information on the Medical Leave Assistance Program is available on the HR intranet site.

Donations Offset Unpaid Time 
Employees who are unable to work for four or more weeks - due to their own illness - may request that other employees donate sick leave days to help cover any unpaid time. Human Resources reviews the requests. If approved, they will be posted at all work sites. Requests will also be posted on the HR intranet site.

Donors Must Have at Least 30 Accrued Sick Leave Days 
Employees may donate if they have accrued at least 30 sick-leave days. If you wish to contribute, you can print a Medical Leave Assistance Donation Form from the HR intranet site and send the completed form directly to HR.

The District Prohibits Personal Requests 
Solicitation of sick leave donations - either by the person requesting donations, any other person or any other method - is prohibited. If there is evidence that solicitation has occurred, it will jeopardize the donations, and may result in disciplinary action.

Calendars

Calendars for the 2015-2016 school year for all employee groups have been updated and are published on the Human Resources website.

Keep your HR files current

All certificated employees must have a valid Arizona certificate properly recorded with the Human Resources Department. The certification must meet both No Child Left Behind (NCLB) highly qualified and Arizona Department of Education (ADE) certification guidelines for the position for which they have been hired. Additionally, all certificated employees must possess a valid fingerprint clearance (FP) card issued by the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Fingerprinting division.

Failure to keep a teaching certificate current will result in the termination of employment as a certificated employee and placement into a substitute status which results in the termination of all contract related benefits. An expired or invalid FP card can result in having a substitute placed in the teacher's classroom during the student day. Employees will be responsible for the cost of the substitute while waiting for the card to be updated. For details, refer to Governing Board policy, GCA and the accompanying regulation.

Human Resources will work to assist employees in tracking the status of their certificates and FP cards. However, it is the responsibility of the employee to monitor the expiration date of those items.

When you need to get your FP card updated you can bring the following items to Human Resources to process your fingerprint application:

  • A cashier's check or money order, made out to Arizona DPS for $67.00 (cash or personal checks will not be accepted)
  • Photo ID that includes demographic information (driver's license or ID issued by the motor vehicle division or passport)

Human Resources will provide the application packet, roll your prints and deliver your application to DPS. You can anticipate a 4-6 week window of time for the application to be processed and an updated card issued.

ASRS contribution rate effective July 1, 2015

The Board for the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) has adopted the contribution rate for the 2015-16 fiscal year. Effective July 1, 2015 the total contribution rate, including retirement and long term disability contributions, will be 11.47% for employees who meet the criteria for active membership. Currently, the total contribution rate for employees who meet criteria for active membership is 11.60%.

Arrange for a substitute teacher in advance

Early reporting of planned absences in SmartFindExpress can increase the likelihood of securing a quality substitute. Many substitute teachers utilize a feature in SmartFindExpress that blocks the system from calling them for any same-day assignments. This limits the number of substitutes that are available to be called in the morning call out.

The use of substitute teachers will typically increase in the third quarter. It is imperative that planned absences get posted well in advance, not the night before or the day of the absence. Teachers have the ability to report absences up to 300 days in advance.

To arrange for a substitute teacher online CLICK HERE or call SmartFindExpress at (480) 655-9009.

Human Resources Matters is published by the Human Resources Department of Mesa Public Schools, an equal opportunity organization. If an employee feels that he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex or gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, or marital status, the employee should contact the district's compliance officer: Pete Lesar, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources (480) 472-0412.

 

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