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Monday, March 25, 2013

$2 million mistake - self-insuring medical benefits for Clarkston Schools

I was advised by an anonymous commenter about the impact of the Clarkston Community Schools switching from an insurance carrier for medical benefits to being self-insured.  Here is the comment received on 2/20/13:
"Rumor has it the Ex Dr of HR for the 2nd year in a row has under estimated the cost of self insuring. If that's true , think she deserves a raise or a pay cut? I'm sure she would tell you it's somehow the employees fault!"
I decided to look into the claim and researched it using the district's previously posted school board board packets.

The Executive Director of Human Resources, Anita Banach, underestimated the cost of health insurance for the CCS district employees to the tune of $2 million for the 2012/13 school year by talking the school board into "self-insuring" their medical insurance.  The district will be carrying forward a $2.4 million deficit into the 2013/14 school year as a result.

Recently she had been lobbying for (and apparently received) a huge pay increase based on Dr. Rod Rock giving her a promotion from Director of Human Resources to Executive Director of Human Resources.  This appears to be rather poor performance for an "Executive Director of Human Resources".      


  1. Change in title equals a change in pay. Another bad decision to give someone who didn't have the qualifications for the job in the first place a raise for doing a bad job.

    Dr. Rock is a politician not a leader and his current administrative staff does not have the experience to bolster his lack of operational exeperience.

    What happened to accountability??????

  2. You know Anita is leaving CCS in April right? mmmmm, why? I have my opinion but I'll keep it to myself. She never admitted to underestimating insurance but did say that employees should try to limit Dr. visits & that there were several large medical expenses for a few employees which through the numbers.

  3. Are you serious? Anita Banach actually asked employees to limit doctor's visits?

    There will always be some "outlier" employees that will have high medical bills in a particular year and is the purpose of having insurance in the first place. In my opinion, it is irresponsible to expect that once the current year's "outlier" employees' issues are resolved (surgeries/ treatment over, remission, death, etc.), that there would not be additional "outliers" the next year... The estimates for medical expenses should be calculated to increase year to year due to increases in actual costs and the number of employees and retirees has increased.

  4. 3/25/13 Anon,

    Accountability? We don't need no stinking accountability! My only reference to "Blazing Saddles".

    In my opinion, accountability for a person’s job performance in CCS is related to who you are...

  5. Dawn,
    If there were accountability by the board or admin the board would be looking at a list of administrators and secretaries who haven't taken the deep cuts that hourly employees have. Seems they are going to choose to balance the budget on the backs of those who make 50k or less! Cut the annuities that we provide for administrators on top of their pensions, furlough their paid time off over spring break and Christmas, eliminate their perks! What they are doing is like balancing your home budget by cutting your kids allowance, it's not going to fix or address your mismanagementment! I just hope they keep the grass green and weed free, that truly makes my kid smarter!!

  6. 4/11/13 Anon,

    I was upset that the Administrators and secretaries never took cuts like the custodians and bus drivers did.

    A agree that the Administrator's perks like the annuities should also be cut.

    You are a smart and knowledgeable person.

    1. I am a bus driver who is tired of having a gun to my head, worrying if I'm going to lose my job EVERY year. I'm tired of the threats. I have lost 20% in pay & benefits & please tell me what have the administrators given up? ANYTHING? Perhaps they should bite the bullet for once & set an example by taking a cut and looking as though they are good leaders.

      And, how on earth did Anita get a $90,000 position without a bachelor's degree? Really, can I apply, I won't even expect a penny over $60,000! Anita said in a meeting that the teachers weren't targeted like "support staff" because they have an education/degree. WOW! The pot or what?! The transportation staff has many degrees among us.

      Thanks, Janet

    2. Wow! Why does it ALWAYS seem that the administrators want to cut support staff?! GOOD FOR YOU JANET FOR SPEAKING YOUR MIND! I too want the BEST for the bus drivers, custodians, clerks, paras & kitchen staff. I am an employee with children who attend CCS & I am totally confused about why the 'higher ups' are not expected to take cuts. What are we supposed to do though, realistically?!

      Since I am addressing "Janet", WHY does the district continue to threaten the bus drivers? I cannot imagine what the schools' drive ways will look like if EVERY parent had to drive their child! How is possible to make sure that our kids are going to be on time? If I understand it correctly, the buses transport around 70 students, each, & how many buses are there?

      Am I just being too simple in thinking that if the CCS district is all about the kids, that the administrators in their relatively new building, really don't understand the support staff's roles? Do the administrator have any direct contact with the students?

      And, your pay reflects upon your education...well, educated people aren't always the best fit for the job. I do feel as though a teacher probably should be compensated more than staff, due to the fact that they are with our kids for a long period of time, BUT, why, are the board office staff paid a ludicrous amount of money when they have no contact/influence on our kids?! I agree Janet! Let the big wigs take a cut, if they truly believe that kids come first! STOP THREATENING OUR WONDERFUL EMPLOYEES!

    3. I agree with both of you. However, I have to set the record straight on Anita Banach. SHe DOES have a Bachelors Degree, but it is in Communications, not Human Resources.

      Dr. Al Roberts, the former superintendent, also came up with the idea of getting rid of buses altogether to save money back when the bus drivers took their massive pay cuts. I remember that Barry Bomier (former board member and husband of a now retired teacher) thought that was a great idea... Among many reasons why that was an ignorant suggestion: 1) The district covers 60 square miles with regional elementary schools, but only one middle school, one junior high, and one high school. 2) The parking lots and feeder roads to the schools currently don't accommodate all of the cars that bring students to school NOW. There is no way they could handle no buses. 3) Kids would not be able to get to school.

      I hope both of you will be at the the meeting on Monday and bringing everyone you know to express their opinions also.