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Workers' Compensation Changes Likely for B-W School District

Henderson Brothers recommends its return-to-work program.

The  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  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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cc August 11, 2012 at 01:36 AM
I cannot believe that our district just let people sit out on comp till they could come back to work. I know in my business if someone is out on comp, we will bring them into the office to do something else, phones, typing reports this save money for the company and on compensation premiums. Another reason the school board needs to go.
Brian Rampolla August 11, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Compensation claim increases of 20% per year over five years means the claims, and I assume district costs, have about doubled in that time. If true, it's unbelievable this issue if just now coming to light and equally unbelievable that Nancy DiNardo blames the previous administration. She, like every other board member, has the responsibility to know where every single district penny is spent so they can catch and correct these negative trends early on. She, like every other board member, is given the means to fulfill this responsibility through the detailed budget information provided by the administration every year (Information, by the way, never provided to the public). So it sure appears to me that she, like every other board member, has failed to meet this responsibility regarding the compensation issue. We have a right to know exactly what the compensation costs have been in the previous five years so we know the amount of money that could have been used for the students. It sounds like cc understands this issue, so an annual budget review committee made of people like cc with expertise in various areas would be a great source of badly needed input to this board. They are only nine people, so it's the height of arrogance to think they would not benefit from outside opinions. So Mr. Schmotzer, in addition to the board workers compensation committee to hold district employees accountable, how about a public budget review committee to hold the board accountable?
cc August 11, 2012 at 07:42 PM
The School Board sounds like obama saying it was all George Bush fault. You can't blame the people that were in 5 years ago as it is the school boards job to be on top of everything and know what is being paid out. I just looked at the budget and did a double take at what they are paying for the premiums for a year comp insurance. First thing I would do is be shopping around for another insurance carrier to purchase compensation insurance from (something our school board isn't smart enough to do) and bringing in every person that was on comp to do something in the school. We could save money by having a real person answer the phones and putting the call though to the dept or teacher then paying an outrageous price for the automatic answering system that the school district uses. The teachers that are out on comp that can't teach a full time on their feet can be tutoring students that need help. There are many ways that this school board could save money but won't open their eyes to do so and would love to see a review committee to hold the school board accountable as long as they aren't a relative or friend of anyone on the school board.
cc August 14, 2012 at 02:57 AM
no Jon you would blame the iceburg instead of the captain for sinking the Titanic. Jon you need to remove your blinders, obama isn't the best thing since sliced bread but you democrats make him out to be a god. Jon go look at the Budget and read what they are paying out for comp insurance. Jon how long did you sit on comp with a fake injury.
Jon Wain August 19, 2012 at 02:09 AM
never had comp cc and i have life .appearently you don't .your on every episode of as the patch turns wit your stats and history lessons .change your name from cc to cliff claven
cc August 19, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Jon - I do have a life thanks but there are others on here that sound more like cliff claven such as you, ml an brutus. Our school waste so much money that could be put into our children education and maybe would bring up our school ratings if they weren't wasting so much money. Other school district around the area have " return-to-work program that actually saves money, something our school board doesn't know anything about.
cc August 19, 2012 at 04:33 PM
why ml your allowed to say stuff about me but you don't like it back. If that is the case then keep my name and initials off anything you say. It is getting very old and sick of you thinking that only your opinions are correct and then when you say something, you think people are twisting your words when in fact you do say the things. First of all your the one that is always STALKING ME. Don't write on my comments and I will stay away from the false things you post.

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