Summary of Employee Benefits

  • Flexible Benefits Plan

    Union County Public Schools makes a flexible benefits plan available to all full-time employees. A flexible benefits plan allows employees to pay for qualified benefits with pre-tax dollars. This provides a savings to the employee. Benefits included under this plan are uncovered medical bills, day care expenses, dental, disability, and various other supplemental products.  Ameriflex administers our flexible benefits plan. 

    Health Insurance

    Union County Public Schools provides the employee a choice of two (2) state health plan options:  the Basic 70/30 and the Enhanced 80/20. Union County Public Schools pays the base amount for the individual coverage for any regular full-time (at least 30 hours per week) employee wishing to enroll in either the Basic 70/30 or the Enhanced 80/20 health plan. Coverage for dependents may be added at the employee's expense.**

    Dental Insurance

    Dental Insurance is offered for the employee and/or the entire family through Delta. The employee pays for the cost.

    Vision Insurance

    Vision Insurance is offered for the employee and/or the entire family through Superior Vision. The employee pays for the cost.

    Life Insurance

    Life insurance is available for employees through Colonial Life Insurance Group in varying amounts up to $200,000. Coverage is also available for spouses and dependents in the amounts up to $50,000 and $10,000, respectively. The employee pays for the cost of this insurance. The school system provides $15,000 of life insurance to each qualified employee.

    Workers' Compensation

    All public school employees are entitled to receive Workers' Compensation under the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act. Employees must have suffered an accidental injury or contracted an occupational disease in the course of employment to be eligible for medical payments, compensation for lost salary, or death benefits under this program.

    If you have an accident or illness while on duty, contact your principal or supervisor immediately. It is the responsibility of the employee to fill out an Employee's Statement form at the time of the injury or illness.

    Retirement

    Regular, full-time employees are covered by the North Carolina Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System. Employees contribute six percent of their monthly salaries and employers contribute an amount as set every year by state law. Employee contributions are paid with pre-tax dollars, thereby reducing current state and federal income taxes.

    Employees who are dismissed or resign after five or more years of Retirement System membership may withdraw their retirement contributions, plus any interest they have earned. Persons who voluntarily resign with less than five years of membership in the Retirement System may withdraw only the funds they contributed. Persons leaving public school employment with five or more years of membership credit in the Retirement System may elect to leave their contributions in the Retirement System and receive future retirement benefits.

    Ending employment through retirement

    Employees may retire with unreduced benefits if they (1) have 30 years of service regardless of age, (2) reach age 60 with 25 years of service, (3) reach age 65 and have at least 5 years of service.

    Supplemental retirement plans

    Three (3) state sponsored supplemental retirement plans are available to school employees. The NC 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, the NC 401(k) Plan and the 403(b) allow school employees to save for retirement through tax-sheltered programs. Other tax sheltering retirement plans are available. FInd more information at www.myncretirement.com.

    Death Benefit

    After completing at least one calendar year or a full-term of employment as a member of the Retirement System, an individual is automatically covered by a death benefit while being paid a salary and for up to 180 days after the last day for which a salary is paid. Upon death, the beneficiary will receive a lump sum payment equal to an employee's salary during a 12-month period, with a minimum of $25,000 and a maximum of $50,000.

    Disability Income Plan of NC

    A comprehensive short- and long-term disability income plan is provided at the employer's expense for regular employees who are members of the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System and who meet certain state service requirements. The short-term disability plan is available to disabled employees with at least one year of contributory retirement service. Short-term disability begins on the 61st day of disability and provides monthly income equal to 50 percent of one-twelfth of the annual base salary, longevity, and supplement, normally for up to 12 months, with a monthly maximum of $3,000.

    After exhausting short-term disability benefits, employees with at least five years of contributory retirement service and disability certification by a medical review board become eligible for long-term disability income benefits. These benefits provide monthly income equal to 65 percent of one-twelfth of the annual base salary and longevity up to $3,900 per month. Long-term disability benefits continue until the end of the disability or the earliest date a person becomes eligible for unreduced retirement benefits.

    Benefits from the Disability Income Plan are subject to certain offsets for benefits received from other programs.

    Additionally, full-time public school employees injured in the course of employment through an episode of violence are entitled to full salary during disability for up to one year.

    More information is available from the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System website.

    Leaves

    Leave policies will be in accordance with North Carolina Public Schools Employee Benefits, State Board of Education.

    Holiday Leave

    Twelve-month employees normally observe 11 holidays per year. Ten-month employees have 10 holidays yearly. Local boards of education determine when holidays are scheduled.

    Vacation Leave (Annual Leave)

    Permanent full-time and part-time employees earn vacation (annual) leave. To earn vacation leave in a given month, employees must be working or on paid leave during half or more of the workdays in that month. Eligible part-time permanent employees earn leave equal to their percentage of full-time employment. State regulations and policies established by local school systems govern when vacation leave may be taken. Unused vacation leave can be accumulated and a maximum of 30 days carried forward to the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1. On June 30 of each year, any accumulated days of vacation leave in excess of 30 days are converted into sick leave days. Vacation leave will be transferred when employees transfer among local educational agencies and may be transferred to state agencies if they are willing to accept the leave; otherwise, employees leaving the public schools will be paid for up to 30 days of accumulated leave. In case of death, the employee's estate will receive payment for any accumulated vacation leave up to 30 days. The following chart shows the number of days of vacation earned each month based on years of state service.

    Years of State Service Monthly Full-time Accural Rates 12-Month Full-time Accural Rates
    Less than 5 years
    1.17 days (9.33 hours)
    14 days (112 hours)
    5 but less than 10 years
    1.42 days (11.33 hours)
    17 days (136 hours)
    10 but less than 15 years
    1.67 days (13.33 hours)
    20 days (160 hours)
    15 but less than 20 years
    1.92 days (15.33 hours)
    23 days (184 hours)
    20 or more year
    2.17 days (17.33 hours)
    26 days (208 hours)
    Sick Leave

    Permanent employees who are working or on paid leave for half or more of the work days in a monthly pay period earn sick leave at the rate of one day per month. Eligible permanent part-time employees earn sick leave equal to their percentage of full-time employment. Sick leave may be granted for: (1) personal illness, injury, or other temporary disability, (2) illness in the employee's immediate family that necessitates the employee's attendance, (3) death in the immediate family, and (4) medical appointments. Sick leave may be accumulated indefinitely and is transferable to a state agency, community college or technical institute if they are willing to accept the sick leave.

    Extended Sick Leave

    Teachers are provided up to 20 days each year of additional sick leave, less the cost of a substitute, for personal illness. This leave may be used after all accumulated sick leave has been exhausted. Unused extended sick leave cannot be carried forward to succeeding school years.

    Voluntary Shared Leave

    Voluntary shared leave is intended to help employees who face financial hardships due to absences for serious medical conditions. Permanent full-time employees are eligible to receive donated leave. To qualify for shared leave, the employee must submit an application with a doctor's statement to the Director of Human Resources. Once the applicant has been approved to receive shared leave, employees may donate annual leave by completing the appropriate form and submitting it to the designated payroll specialist.

    Parental Leave Without Pay

    All full-time permanent or part-time permanent employees may take a leave of absence without pay for up to one calendar year from the date of birth or adoption to care for a newborn child or a newly adopted child. Necessary forms are available through the Human Resources Division.

    Family Medical Leave Act

    The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for their own serious medical condition or that of an immediate family member. In addition, the FMLA allows eligible employees to take the same job-protected leave for the birth of a child or the placement of a child with the employee through adoption or foster care. Certain eligibility requirements must be met in order to qualify for FMLA benefits.

    Jury Duty

    When permanent school employees are absent from work to serve on a jury, no deduction is made from their regular salaries. Employees are entitled to their regular compensation plus any fees received for jury duty.

    Court Attendance

    When permanent employees are absent from work to attend court in connection with their official duty or because they were subpoenaed or directed by proper authority to appear as a witness for another individual, no salary deduction is made. Any fees received when serving in an official capacity as a witness must be returned to the local school system. If, however, an employee is a defendant or a plaintiff in a case and must be absent from work, no salary is received unless that time is charged to vacation or personal leave.

    Military Leave

    Leave with pay is granted to members of reserve components of the U.S. Armed Forces for certain periods of active duty training and for state military duty. Leave with pay is extended to full- or part-time permanent school employees, normally not to exceed 15 working days during the Federal fiscal year (October 1-September 30), for annual training and military maneuvers. Military leave without pay can be granted for one enlistment period of active service, not to exceed four years plus 90 days.

    Personal Leave

    Teachers earn two days of personal leave during the ten-month school term with salary deduction for the cost of substitute teachers on certain days.  Questions regarding the salary deduction should be directed to the Payroll Department.  These days can be accumulated without any applicable maximum until June 30 of each year and are transferable among school systems.  A teacher may carry forward to July 1 a maximum of five days; the remainder of the teacher's personal leave shall be converted to sick leave.  Personal leave is granted upon authorization of an employee's immediate supervisor.  This type of leave is not allowed on the first day the teacher is required to report for the school year, a required teacher workday or the last day before or the next working day after a holiday or scheduled vacation day.