Charter Employee Services: Ensuring Competitiveness, Protecting Flexibility

December 20, 2010

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A passionate and committed staff is critical to accomplishing the goals set out in any charter. However, recruiting that staff can be difficult for California's charter schools, which are in direct competition with school districts for high quality public school educators. These typically large organizations have the scale and the funding to offer comprehensive benefits packages. Additionally, employees within the traditional school system are usually part of a union, which provides additional benefits to employees, including individual Professional Liability Insurance Coverage.

To enable our member charter schools to offer employee benefits packages usually found in the traditional school system, CCSA has developed Charter Employee Services (CES). CES offers comprehensive, charter-specific benefits packages at low, negotiated rates.

"CCSA's Charter Employee Services program allows Synergy Academies to offer some benefits that go above and beyond the typical medical/dental/vision package," said Erika Chua, director of operations for the schools. "We feel that these benefits help to show our commitment to our staff and provide us with another way to support them as individuals."

CES has partnered with the Association of American Educators (AAE) a nonprofit, nonunion professional teachers organization to provide $2 million in Professional Liability Insurance and Employment Rights protection. AAE Legal Protection benefits ensure that members have access to legal counsel at the onset of workplace issues and defense costs related to liability insurance claims.

As an additional protection for charter schools and their employees, CES offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Comprehensive EAPs address work/life issues that can affect the job performance of employees. Offering an EAP with work/life services not only demonstrates that the employer is concerned about the well being of its employees it also increases workplace productivity. A Cornell University study of the "100 Best" companies found that generous work/life benefits were linked with happier, hard-working employees, customers who received better quality products and enhanced service, and an improved bottom line.

Lastly, we are especially excited that through partnership with AAE, we are able to provide $10,000 in scholarships to cover the cost of registration for thirty charter school employees enrolled in CES to attend the 18th Annual California Charter Schools Conference.

To learn more about CES, please contact Candice Lamarche, CES Senior Manager or (916) 448-0995 ext. 402. You can also learn more about CES here.

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If you are a member of the news media, please contact Emily Galbreth at: (412) 559-8571 or egalbreth@calcharters.org.

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