ANeSU: New substitute staffing policy will save money

BRISTOL — Addison Northeast Supervisory Union Superintendent David Adams told the ANeSU executive committee on Jan. 7 that the district’s October hire of an outside company to take over substitute staffing would save the district both time and money.
The district has hired Kelly Services, a company that specializes in temporary staffing nationwide, on Oct. 17, 2013, and the district will begin working with Kelly Services on Feb. 3.
According to documents Adams provided to the Independent, the cost of using Kelly Services will be about $100.10 per substitute per day. Kelly Services will pay substitutes $70 per day, the current rate at ANeSU, and will keep the remaining $30.10.
The district estimates that it currently costs about $96 to staff one substitute for one day. Though the per diem fee to Kelly Services is $4 higher, Adams believes ANeSU will see overall savings in not using in-house resources to hire substitutes, and by avoiding payroll taxes.
Kelly Services will also offer services that the district previously did not have, such as job training, professional development and an automated schedule and absentee reporting system.
The agency, which has an office in South Burlington, provides staffing for 17 districts across the state, Adams said.
Adams said the district, which currently has 50 substitutes and another 10 who have not yet completed the recruitment process, will be able to draw from a much larger substitute pool. Adams said that the current substitute pool is sometimes inadequate to fill the district’s staffing needs, placing an additional strain on resources.
If they wish to continue subbing in the district, current substitutes can become employees of Kelly Services, which uses an online system where teachers can post absences.
“In the process of transferring current substitutes to Kelly we will be released of any human resources responsibilities,” Adams said, adding that the district will no longer have to fund payroll and workers’ compensation taxes.
The district will also be able to avoid offering substitutes health insurance, which, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, must be offered to employees who work more than 30 hours per week. This obligation will now fall to Kelly Services.
Asked by committee member Jen Oldham what the cost of the change would be, Adams said it was difficult to give an exact comparison, as the six schools in the district use different processes to call substitutes. In some cases, an administrative assistant makes the calls, in other cases a school pays a stipend for someone to call substitutes, while other schools pay a support staff person for an extra half-hour to take on the duty.
Adams said switching to Kelly Services will streamline the process of calling substitutes.
“I can’t tell you how much time it saves,” Adams said.
He added that because of the automated system, administrators will know exactly what their staffing needs are, and what substitutes are filling those needs — all in real time.
Adams said the supervisory union has hired Kelly Services for a one-year “pilot” term that will run through this fall. This summer, district administrators will evaluate the effectiveness of the service at a leadership retreat. If it is successful, Adams said the district will consider using the company to fill support staff and non-instructional positions as well.

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