Supervisor clarifies stipends, bonuses

FLINT TWP. — At the township board’s March 3 meeting, Supervisor Karyn Miller took a few minutes to clear up apparent confusion about stipends and bonuses paid to employees.

A stipend paid in lieu of health care is different from signing bonuses paid as part of the contract negotiation process, she said.

In 2013, the township board approved increasing the amount of a stipend paid to employees in lieu of health care coverage, she said. Previously the amount was $1,200 per year which was raised to $1,850 for single person coverage, $4,100 for couple and $5,000 for a family.

Five full-time employees chose to receive the stipend instead of the health care benefit for a total savings to the township of about $68,960.

One employee qualified for the single coverage; saving the township $7068 in the cost of insurance premiums, said Miller, quoting information obtained from the comptroller. Also four employees elected the couples option saving the township about $61,892.

“I think it was a good financial decision made by this board,” Miller said of the insurance option.

However, those stipends should not be confused with signing bonuses given to many but not all employees with contracts, she said.

As part of contract settlements, the board agreed to pay a $500 signing bonus to full-time employees and a $250 bonus to part-time workers of some unions.

That worked out to about $18 per pay check and just about covered union dues for those who received it, she said.

Township board members were not included in the bonuses, she said.

Five employees received the stipends and most full-time and part-time staffers received signing bonuses.

Miller said she hoped her statement would clear up confusion and “some talk” about the signing bonuses which are separate from the insurance stipends.

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