Volume 3. Number 6, February, 2010

In This Issue:

Retirement Notice, Family and Medical Leaves, Classified Courses, New Registration System, Ed-TV Training Videos, New ZIP Codes, Student Teacher Workshop, Support Staff Workday


Feb. 2-March 11
Classified In-Service Courses Begin

Feb. 10                      
Student Teacher Workshop

Until March 15
Classified Lateral Transfer Forms accepted

Notify MPS in Writing if You Plan to Retire This Year

Board policies GCPC and GDPC establish procedures and time frames to notify the district of your impending retirement. Written notification includes an electronic Personnel Action Request Form (PARF) and a letter to Human Resources.
Administrators and Certified Staff

Administrators and certified nonadministrative staff must notify MPS in writing by March 1 for retirement at the end of the school year, unless the superintendent approves an exception.

Classified Supervisors

Classified supervisors must submit a written notice to the district as far in advance as practicable, but not less than 60 days prior to the retirement date.

Classified Employees

Classified nonadministrative employees must submit a written notice to the district as far in advance as practicable, but not less than two weeks before the retirement date.

Reimbursement for Unused Sick Leave and Vacation

All employees who wish to be reimbursed for unused sick leave and vacation over the remaining pays in their contract must submit written notification of retirement before being reimbursed. Any employee who notifies MPS in writing by March 1 and completes his or her annual contract may be reimbursed for up to 240 accrued days of sick leave. Questions? Call (480) 472-0416.

Family and Medical Leave Act Offers Job Protection

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 requires employers to grant eligible employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave during a 12-month period for any of the following reasons:

Basic Leave

  • for incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or childbirth
  • to care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care
  • to care for the employee’s spouse, son,  daughter or parent who has a serious health condition
  • for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his or her job

Military Family Leave

  • a qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the spouse, son, daughter or parent of the employee is on active duty, or has been notified of an impending call to active duty status, in support of a contingency operation

Eligible employees may take up to 26 weeks of military caregiver leave for a covered service member during a single 12-month period.

Eligible Employees

Eligible employees are those who have been employed by the district for a cumulative total of 12 months and who have completed at least 1,250 hours of service in the 12-month period immediately prior to the time the leave is to begin.

Whenever an employee is absent for a potentially FMLA-qualifying reason, MPS will inquire further of the employee or the employee’s spokesperson to find out if the absence qualifies as FMLA leave. If it is determined that the absence is a FMLA-qualifying leave, HR will provide the employee the FMLA rights notice and other important documents.

See Policy GBBD for Details

MPS requires that employees must use all available sick leave, personal leave, compensatory time and/or vacation leave accruals while on a FMLA leave. Details on this and other leaves can be found in Governing Board policy GBBD and its regulations.

Request FMLA Leave in a Letter to Human Resources

To request FMLA leave, send a letter to Human Resources. Your request should include documentation confirming the need for the leave. Make the request at least 30 days before the leave is to begin or as soon as practicable after the need for leave is known. Human Resources will generate a Personnel Action Request Form (PARF) when the information is received.

Questions? Call Human Resources
For more information or a Physician Certification Form, certified staff may call (480) 472-0402, and classified staff may call (480) 472-0427.

Medical Leaves Affect District Benefits

Paid and Unpaid FMLA Leave and Paid Long-Term Medical Leave  

During paid and unpaid FMLA and paid long-term medical leave, MPS maintains district-provided benefits and optional employee-paid benefits for you under the same terms and conditions as if you had continued to work.

If you paid for all or part of your coverage before leave, you must continue to pay for the coverage during your leave — by payroll deduction or direct payment to the Benefits Department.

Unpaid Long-Term Medical Leave

For unpaid long-term medical leave, MPS does not maintain district-provided benefits. To continue coverage of previously provided district benefits plans, you must elect continuation coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. COBRA laws allow you to extend your coverage for 18 months from your eligibility date.

Contact Human Resources, Benefits

In all cases, it is critical to discuss your family and medical leave with the Human Resources and Benefits departments to make sure you have taken all the necessary actions.

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. Policies and regulations are available at www.mpsaz.org and in schools and departments. 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 Sick Leave Donation Form from the HR intranet site. 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.

Enroll in Classified In-Service Courses

  • Beginning Conversational Spanish: Feb. 2
  • Secretarial Office and System Expectations: Feb. 10,11
  • Advanced Architeck Communication Skills: Feb. 12
  • Customer Service Skills: Feb. 22
  • Know Your District: March 11, 25; April 8

New Classified Registration System Is Online

The new registration system is ready for classified employees to use. Go to the Professional Development Web site. Click the "Classes" tab. Click the appropriate log in ("Classified" or "Substitute"). Accept the terms and conditions.

Click the "Course Catalog" to browse. When you find the course you wish to take, click "Register." Click the green "Request Enrollment" button, and click "Continue" to set up your profile. Everything in red is required. Click "Add" to upload your profile and registration request. You will receive an e-mail when approval is complete.

Look for Training Videos on Ed-TV Web site

There are short training videos available to employees on the Educational Television Web site. Click the "On Demand" button. Then click the "MPS Intranet" icon.

Update ZIP Codes on HR and ASRS Forms

The U.S. Postal Service changed some ZIP Codes for cities in Pinal county. If your ZIP Code has changed, please update the information on file with Mesa Public Schools and the Arizona State Retirement System. Personal Information Change Forms can be found on Human Resources and ASRS Web sites.

MPS Hosts Student Teacher Workshop

The district's Student Teacher Workshop offers an overview of the application, interview and hiring process. The event begins at 4 p.m. Feb. 10 in the Administrative Services Center, Third Floor Conference Room No. 303, 63 E. Main St., Mesa.

GDK Policy Review: Support Staff Workday

All classified personnel, except supervisors and administrators, are considered nonexempt employees for the purpose of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Nonexempt staff members are required to follow time-reporting guidelines:

  • Employees must record all hours worked in the Kronos time-keeping system.
  • Employees may not clock in or out for another employee.
  • Time records must be signed by both the employee and the supervisor.

Nonexempt Employees Use Kronos Time Clock

To assure that accurate records are kept, it is mandatory that nonexempt classified employees do not work without recording their time. Each employee is responsible for using the Kronos time clock to punch in and out for all time worked.

Supervisory personnel, including teachers, counselors and nurses, who expect employees to work without recording their time will be subject to disciplinary action. Any employee who feels pressured to work in violation of the rules should inform an administrator or supervisor in Human Resources.

If Schedules Include a Meal Break . . .

The specific schedule of work hours in a day for classified employees will be determined by the unit administrator or designee. If that work schedule includes a meal break:

  • The meal break must be a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • The employee must clock in and out for that break.
  • It must be duty free.

Nonexempt classified employees may not work more that 40 hours per week without prior authorization.

Nonexempt Staff Are Paid Based on Hours Worked

Employees working in excess of 40 hours per week will be paid overtime either in the form of monetary compensation or compensatory time off.

Employment on the basis of a stipend, flat rate, payment in cash or other arrangement that does not compensate the employee on the basis of hours worked is not allowed for nonexempt classified employees.

For Complete Information, Review Policy GDK

For complete information on record keeping and compensation practices, please review GDK: Support Staff Workday and the annual Statement of Awareness and Understanding for all employees. All MPS policies are published at www.mpsaz.org.

Human Resources Matters is published by Mesa Public Schools,
an equal opportunity organization

Human Resources Department

If an employee feels that he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of gender, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, handicap or disability, the employee should contact the
district’s compliance officer, Janice Ramirez, (480) 472-0412.


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