Workers' Compensation Changes Likely for B-W School District
Henderson Brothers recommends its return-to-work program.
The Baldwin-Whitehall School District is expected to institute a return-to-work program for its employees that Henderson Brothers representative Jared Sadowski says could save the district significant money.
Sadowski, a certified school risk manager, made a presentation to the B-W School Board on Wednesday night in which he explained that workers' compensation claims for school employees are increasing at an average of 20 percent per year over the past five years.
A return-to-work program allows injured employees to spend less time on workers' compensation, Sadowski explained, by assigning temporary alternative duties to those employees, such as office work for a physically injured laborer.
Henderson Brothers, in cooperation with school district administration, would design the return-to-work program. Henderson would also offer customized training to avoid injuries.
Sadowski also recommended that the B-W School Board create a committee to address workers' compensation, and board President John B. Schmotzer said that that will be done.
Fellow board member Nancy Sciulli DiNardo said that she wants the board to seek other bids to compete with Henderson's offers. Nevertheless, she expressed a desire to have such services taken advantage of in B-W.
Sciulli DiNardo said that she was disappointed that Henderson, which has worked with B-W since 2006, never made a similar presentation to the school board before Wednesday night.
Sadowski explained that he was never invited to do so until the district's outgoing Assistant to the Superintendent for Finance and Operations William D. McKain and current Business Manager William McNamee extended the invitation.
Sciulli DiNardo blamed that oversight on previous years' administration.
Sadowski said that accepting Henderson's offers would not increase B-W's current workers' compensation premiums.
Board member Larry Pantuso said that he had never been with an organization without a return-to-work program until he joined the B-W School Board. Pantuso encouraged his colleagues to act on Sadowski's recommendations immediately.
"While we can't control a lot of our costs," Pantuso said, "really, this is something that we can control."
Check back with the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch throughout Thursday for more odds and ends from Wednesday night's school board meeting, including information regarding a new teachers contract and more.
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