When the new school year begins in two weeks, most of the 75 non-certified personnel in the Oneida Special School District will have their weekly work load reduced to 29 hours as the school system’s answer to new federal health care requirements that will take effect Jan. 1, 2014.

The employees, who range from cafeteria workers to janitors to teacher assistants, were informed of the school system’s decision to cut their hours in a letter two weeks ago.

The issue, according to director of schools Ann Sexton, is pending requirements of the federal Affordable Health Care Act, which will require each employer with 50 or more employees to offer those employees affordable health insurance coverage as of Jan. 1 — a requirement that would cost the school system hundreds of thousands of dollars that Sexton says it does not have.

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