The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TCC offers buyout to longtime staffers

By Shelly williams/editor-in-chief

About 270 TCC employees are eligible to retire early, thanks to a new incentive plan approved unanimously during the board of trustees meeting March 10.

Employees can take a lump sum of 80 percent of one year’s salary and half of their unused sick leave if they accept TCC’s Employee Voluntary Separation Incentive Plan.

Although TCC is looking at several options to make up for a loss of state funding, the incentive plan is not directly related to those cuts, said Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley.

She said she hasn’t talked about using adjunct instructors to replace full-time faculty members as they leave, but she has talked with campus presidents about whether a person leaving needs replacing or if the opportunity is best used as a way to train others in a different area.

“I’m not about trying to get fewer, but I may be about trying to get them in different places,” she said.

The savings from the incentive plan will help the college fund new initiatives such as Achieving the Dream, student support systems, process improvement and the Success Planning/Career Pathways program.

“There are savings because we may be replacing someone with a higher salary with someone who has a lesser salary,” vice chancellor of administration Bill Lace said. “We may be replacing someone who was making $80,000 with someone making [$50,000].”

Employees eligible for the plan are 65 years of age or older with at least 10 years of full-time service at TCC, those whose age plus years of service as of Jan. 31 under the Teacher Retirement System of Texas is 80 or higher or those whose age plus years of service is 80 or higher under the Optional Retirement System of Texas.

Those considering the plan must sign an acceptance agreement by May 13 but have seven days after accepting to change their mind, said Johnson Hadley during the board meeting.

Employment for those who accept the incentive will end no later than August.

Some long-serving employees are still trying to decide what to do, but NW humanities dean Mike Matthews, who has been with TCC since 1970, said he’s a long way from retiring. He said he couldn’t consider the plan because of commitments to nonprofit organizations that intersect with his job, along with his duty as the program chair for the Community College Humanities Association conference this fall.

“I was glad to learn that the incentive was not an effort to cut positions but instead an effort to create new positions for institutional goals,” he said. “When I think about retiring, I get depressed. And when I think of not retiring, I cheer up, for I still have more to do at TCC.”

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