BENEFITS AND SERVICES
6.1 RETIREMENT PROGRAMS
All benefits-eligible classified employees are required to become members of the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) of Texas. Benefits-eligible administrative employees may be eligible for participation in the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) in lieu of participation in TRS. State law provides an administrative employee a one time opportunity to select ORP. If an administrative employee previously had the option at another Texas institution he/she is not eligible to change retirement plans upon employment at Amarillo College. If a new administrative employee has never been eligible for ORP, he/she may elect within the first ninety days of employment to participate in ORP.
Employees and the State of Texas both contribute a percentage of the employees’ gross earnings to the applicable retirement fund. The exact percentages are set by the Texas Legislature. Current contribution percentage information is available in the Human Resources Office.
6.2 AMARILLO COLLEGE BENEFIT PLAN
Amarillo College replaced participation in Social Security with an alternate self-managed benefit plan as of December 31, 1982. The self-managed plan consists of contributions from employees through payroll deduction with matching contributions from the College to provide a supplemental retirement plan for appointed employees. Disability and survivor benefits are designed to duplicate any Social Security benefits at the time of disability or at the time of an employee’s death less any Social Security disability or survivor benefits due from an employee’s prior participation in Social Security. Employees are vested on their first day of voluntary acceptance. Employees who resign before retirement are entitled to their contribution, the College’s matching contribution, and any earnings. The Human Resources Office has additional information on the Amarillo College Benefits Plan.
All benefits-eligible employees are eligible for group insurance programs offered by the Employees Retirement System (ERS). Enrollment in these programs is automatic but can be waived if coverage is not wanted or needed. Dependent coverage is optional, but enrollment of dependents must be made within thirty-one days of employment or during any open enrollment period. Specific details of the group insurance benefit are available from the Human Resources Office.
6.4 WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
When an employee is unable to work due to a job-related injury or illness, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier will normally pay a portion of the employee’s lost wages, following a seven-day waiting period. At the employee’s option this payment may be supplemented to allow the employee to continue to draw full wages by using accrued sick leave or vacation leave. In the event an employee has an injury that requires long-term leave without pay, the College will pay the State contribution toward insurance premiums for the employee for a period not to exceed six months and normal long-term leave without pay provisions will apply.
6.5 CATASTROPHIC ILLNESS PROVISION (CIP)
Catastrophic Illness Provision (CIP) is a benefit designed to provide some salary protection for a period of up to 90 days for employees who are off work due to non-work related illness or injury and have exhausted all accrued vacation and sick leave. Contact the Human Resources Department for an application and more information concerning CIP.
6.6 TAX SHELTERED ANNUITIES
Benefits-eligible employees may set aside a portion of their salary in tax sheltered annuities also know as income tax deferred savings. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) establishes limitations on the amount that may be invested in a tax deferred program. For a list of approved vendors and current IRS restrictions contact the Human Resources Office.
6.7 EMPLOYEE TUITION SCHOLARSHIP
Benefits-eligible employees, their spouses, and their children (who are legal dependents for income tax purposes) may enroll for any College class (academic or continuing education) tuition free. Amarillo College retired employees and their spouses are also eligible. Part-time personnel are eligible for free tuition, to a maximum of six (6) semester hours, during the semester in which they are employed. The preparatory-music program, private-music lessons, and some continuing education classes are excluded from tuition-free status.
Benefits-eligible employees, who work a standard 40-hour week and wish to enroll in Amarillo College courses, must have prior written approval from their immediate supervisor before they can enroll tuition free in more than six-semester hours, or its equivalent, in any one semester. The College, through its supervisors, reserves the right to determine the number of courses any employee can reasonably expect to carry and maintain their assigned work schedule at the College.
Any employee who resigns or whose employment is terminated prior to the beginning of the class for which the employee, spouse, and/or children are enrolled will be required to reimburse the College for the tuition scholarship or withdraw from class immediately.
6.8 COURTESY FUND
The Courtesy Fund finances courtesies to Amarillo College appointed employees and members of their families who have new births, or who are ill or bereaved. Employees are encouraged to contribute to the fund at the beginning of each academic year. Employees should contact the Office of the President as they learn of incidents that warrant the attention of the Courtesy Fund.
6.9 ACCIDENTS AND EMERGENCIES
Accidents and emergencies affecting Amarillo College should be reported to the Amarillo College Police Department, 371-5163. Life threatening incidents should be reported directly to 911 prior to calling Amarillo College Police.
Any employee injury that occurs on the job should be reported to the Human Resources Office as soon as possible by the injured employee’s supervisor.
6.10 TRAFFIC CITATION APPEALS
Amarillo College has established a Traffic Citation Appeals Committee for faculty and staff who believe they have received an unjust citation from the Campus Police. The Committee consists of two permanent members and six appointed members – two faculty members, two staff members, and two students. The Vice President of Student Affairs/Deportment Officer will serve as chair of this Committee, will call and organize Committee meetings, and will vote in the event of Committee tie votes.
Those appealing traffic citations must submit a written appeal, along with a copy of the citation, to Amarillo College Police Department within seven (7) days of the ticket date. Copies of the appeal, the citation, and comments from the Amarillo College Police Department will be forwarded to members of this Committee. The Committee will meet on an as-needed basis.
If the Appeals Committee finds that the individual did violate Amarillo College traffic regulations, the fine must be paid within seven calendar days. An individual who does not contact the Appeals Committee within seven days shall forfeit the right of appeal, and a double fine will be assessed.
Questions should be addressed to the Vice President of Student Affairs/Deportment Officer. The Traffic Citation Appeals Committee will be the final appeal for all traffic citations.