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Hamburg Central to save money with retirement incentive

Teachers and social workers with a cumulative total of more than 200 years of service to the Hamburg Central School District are taking advantage of a retirement incentive.

“I always hate to see great people leave,” Superintendent Michael Cornell said. “These incredible people put in decades of expertise.”

The incentive offered this year by the school district gives retiring teachers four years of full health insurance coverage for a single person, or half the cost for a family health insurance policy.

Cornell said the savings in the first year of the teachers’ retirements is expected to be about $300,000.

“Their replacements will be hired at a much lower salary,” he said. “We do intend to replace most, if not all, those retiring.”

Among the teachers retiring are Margaret Domres, 22 years of service; Mary Galac, 32 years; Mary Beth Schumer, 31 years; Suzanne Mair, 23 years; Judy Nye, 32 years; Janelle Kopsa, 30 years, and John McDonald II, 32 years. Also retiring are social workers Michael Hanitz, 37 years, and Jean Tuholski, 15 years. Teacher aide Susanne Kisluk also plans to retire after nearly 10 years with the district.

Domres, Galac, Kisluk, Schumer and Tuholski will retire June 30. The others will retire Feb. 18, 2017.

The School Board also has approved a contract with its food service workers. The four-year contract includes raises of 2.5 percent in each of the four years.

“These people really are valued members of our team. They’re sometimes forgotten,” Cornell said.

The agreement will be in effect from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2020.

Cafeteria workers were not members of a union until 2013, when they joined Service Employees International Local 200 United. This is their second contract.