Superintendent says Obamacare is forcing a reduction in hours in - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Superintendent says Obamacare is forcing a reduction in hours in Mishawaka Schools

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Some School City of Mishawaka employees got some bad news, their paychecks will be taking a dive.

Superintendent Dr. Terry Barker says it's because of a new requirement under the Affordable Care Act.

Barker says it's just non-certified part-time employees who will be affected. FOX28 first learned about this from an employee who says she got the notice on her pay stub last week.

The notice said she'll be knocked down to 28 hours beginning December 1st. She says she was working 35 hours a week. Barker confirmed the notice was sent out last week.

He says it's because the Affordable Care Act requires companies to provide insurance to employees who work more than 30 hours.

He says there simply isn't money in the budget for that.

Barker says, "The whole impact of the Affordable Care Act is something that ties our hands and puts us in a bind because it's an unfunded mandate. Quite honestly, it's one more unfunded mandate for school, businesses, anyone employing 50 people are more."

Barker says about 350 employees will be affected by this. They are teachers aids, special education aids, and clerical positions.

He says the district was faced with either paying a $2 million penalty for not offering insurance to those employees, or paying $3.5 million to provide insurance. Barker says the district couldn't afford either, so that's why they're cutting hours below that 30 hours.

"We hate it. I absolutely hate it. No one wants to reduce somebody's hours and cut their pay, so we'll be looking at things we can do to soften that blow," says Barker.

Barker says it's too early to disclose what that might be right now.

Barker says classroom instruction shouldn't be affected. The district is looking at just adjusting beginning and ending shift times.

He says the district may be impacted if some of these employees look for other jobs, but he suspects they'd find the same problem anywhere.

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