On Monday, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee released a bill that caps unused sick leave and vacation pay for retiring school employees at $15,000 and limits its use before retirement. NJSBA supports the measure, but is seeking amendments that would permit a lower maximum in those districts where the contract in force already establishes a limit of less than $15,000.
S-2220 (Sarlo) would apply to both current and future employees of boards of education and local governments. Current employees would be able to retain any supplemental compensation already accrued as of the bill’s effective date.
S-2220 sets sick leave payouts at $15,000, bringing school district employee contracts in line with those of state workers. However, many school districts have contracts already in place where maximum sick leave payout provisions are considerably less than that amount. Therefore, NJSBA is requesting that the bill language specify that the payout can not exceed $15,000, or whatever amount is specified in the current contract.
NJSBA also suggests the bill be amended to note that the $15,000 maximum would apply to districts with employees who are covered by civil service, to ensure the retirement payouts for those staff members are covered by this legislation.
In addition, the bill currently allows municipalities to pay retirees any severance liabilities over a five-year time frame; NJSBA recommends that local boards of education have the same timeline to meet their financial obligation to retirees.
S-2220 passed by a vote of 10-0 and now goes to the full Senate for a vote.