Friday, May 03, 2013

GTA Side Deal: Null & Void


The D&C reports: "The state considers void any “side deals” that schools struck with local unions holding harmless teachers and principals from negative performance evaluations, the Education Department wrote in a memo to districts last week.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined the department in chiding Buffalo schools for a side agreement that guaranteed teachers and principals would not face negative consequences based on evaluations this school year. The new evaluation law designates that two consecutive years of poor evaluations could be grounds for termination.

Upon learning about agreements in Buffalo and Oneida County, the state last month threatened to pull the approval of districts’ evaluation plans and withhold increases in state aid.

Teachers unions have bristled at the term “side deals” because they think it connotes something underhanded. They maintain that the agreements were proper and aboveboard; indeed, they came to light because the Buffalo union posted its agreement on its website.

New York’s largest teachers’ union also questioned how the state could bar districts and unions from following their agreements. “I don’t see how the state Education Department can enforce the letter ... about these (agreements) being null and void,” said Richard Iannuzzi, president of New York State United Teachers. “These are local agreements.”

SCATS ~~ Well, well, well ... Greece Central & GTA have been "Caught With Their Pants Down" just as we reported on April 24th!

District Office professes the under-the-table (and under-handed) side deal struck with GTA behind closed doors didn't require Board of Education approval, therefore no vote and no reference in BOE minutes. 

This begs the question of whether or not our BOE even knew about this. Do they care? They paved the way for this type of deceit by holding too many closed door meetings and by eliminating public discussion of most subjects of substance. They trust Babs much too much! No wonder we, the community, find it hard to trust any of them!
   Miz Dee-Dubbya ~ "Babs"

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

MEMO: from BDW
To: Yarnball boy

Knock it off fuzzface. I'm trying to get ready for a weekend of fun in the Sun, and I don't need litterbox content from you.

I don't care what the Cuomo kid says, I'll run this sports district as I choose to, and if that includes a deal with some Union of incompetents, and that deal makes my life easy I'll make the deal.

You want your catnip shut off?

Anonymous said...

Why do I feel genuinly saddened to thing that when 1:36 wrote and posted that submission he or she felt it was somehow funny? Some attempts at humor give me chills.

Anonymous said...

I see the Greece Thunder victim's has now filed suit. Sure am glad the hockey parents and our BOE fought so hard to keep Webby around after the boozing on the job incident. I wonder what that bit of brilliant thinking by the (then) board will end up costing us taxpayers?

Anonymous said...

there never was a side deal! All it involved was that this year being a "roll out" year would not involve firings this year! However, if this year was deemed needed improvement, then they would be on an improvement plan next year. The state is trying to cover its butt as well for a stupid set of standards, which are ambiguous and no administrator understands how to enforce, which is creating chaos in schools. Why don't you move onto things like which admins will be fired after their "safety net" is cut because their contract expires.

SCATS said...

To 3:26PM ~~ Perhaps you need a different anti-depressant??

To 3:32PM ~~ See it where??

To 4:05PM ~~ Let's see, a deal concocted outside another agreement that it impinges upon is called "a side deal."

Charlie Hubbard said...

Cost and Quality - Cost and Quality
THAT is what our focus should be on - is it??
We know these contracts speak to costs and say nothing to quality and or accountability. They are worthless, do/nothing, give/aways.

This memorandum of understanding does not speak to any costs. Would someone please tell us how this speaks to quality???
We know the board took no action on this memorandum (side deal). Was this agreeded to informaly by the board?
Bottom line, this 'side deal' does nothing but kiss the unions backside. These 'side deals' have been a big problem in the past (remember the Walts lifetime medical).
If this way of doing things demonstrates the mindset of the administration and perhaps the board - BOY ARE WE IN TROUBLE.
Again show us the 'benefit to the district' of this agreement.

Anonymous said...

SCATS, you should count yourself among the ones caught with your pants down. To Charlie’s simple question of whether the board approved this, you gave a clear affirmative answer, as though you had inside knowledge. Now it comes out that the board didn’t vote on it after all.

Further on down the thread you double down on your claim that the board approved this in secret. Never happened. Don’t speculate! Or, if you do, then clearly identify that you are only speculating, rather than passing on your vaunted inside information.

SCATS said...

To 1:26AM ~~ Yes, you are correct. I WRONGLY ASSUMED OUR BOE DID THEIR JOB! I assumed they did it in one of their DOZENS UPON DOZENS of closed door meetings. They did NOT!!

Contracts are among the few items of oversight they have and they did NOT do their job on this MOU!

So I will take back saying that the BOE snookered us and state emphatically that the Supt. snookered us & probably them, too. Though you would NEVER hear them say it, since Babs walks on water with Julia.

Anonymous said...

Charlie I concur, with one exception. Just before he took the PWC job, he engineered an amendment to his contract with Phelan raising his health care
benefit from 80% to 100% district paid. That amendment was voted on by the board in a 6-3 vote and attached to his existing contract. This amended page is available as a Foil. There is no place in responsible representation for these kinds of, as I call them, "sweetheart deals" to take place as they tend to benefit the few or the one at the expense of the many.

SCATS said...

To 9:22AM ~~ That's just another side deal.

Charlie Hubbard said...

to 9:22 I could go on and on about the side deal you allude to that demonstrates the complete incompetence of that school board but let me keep it short by bringing your attention to just 2 items. #1 We are still paying for that 'side deal' to this day - imagine giving someone 100% free medical (for life) wheather he works for you or not. #2 NO IDEA what the cost was. How in he## do you approve something without knowing the financial committment you are expossing the taxpayers to. Don't blame Walts - he didn't approve it - the BOARD DID.

We tried to get it annulled with no luck. The best we could do was to create policy #6431 which of course can only work if the board follows thier policies. We were also fortunate to have the Comptrollers office as part of the 2008 audit to recommend the board identify the 'benefit to the district' future contracts and addendums - again - only good IF the board follows NOW what they agreed with in the PAST. So far that has NOT happened.

SCATS said...

To Charlie ~~ I'd like to point out that side deal included coverage for Walts' family, too. Will Obamacare help us??

Anonymous said...

Charlie, your board tried to get it annulled?? Really? And just how did you and the rest of that group do that? Curious!!!

Anonymous said...

After reading the two posts about Walts' health care, it would appear to me that the only side deal involved was the increase from 80% to 100% as his original
contract called for 80%. Since his new contract was signed in June of 2004 it contained this stipulation. The amended section was in December of the same year. Mr Hubbard mentioned the findings of the comptroller's audit that did question the the benefit to the district that several members of that board knew he was leaving in June 2005, thus their determination that this increase benefited only
Walts and his survivors for life. Given these facts, only the 20% increase was recoverable. This would prove difficult as the board legally voted in favor of
the amendment. Now, in contrast, the present board never voted on the side deal that is in question which means a succeeding board could vote to set aside the
agreement if it fell within their oversight responsibilities. I know, I know, given the present members, a snow ball In hell would have a better chance of
beating the odds.

SCATS said...

To 5:55PM ~~ I believe they also gave Walts LIFETIME health care with that extra 20% & extended the coverage to his family, as well.

Anonymous said...

I believe the lifetime provision was already apart of the 2004 contract. The 20% and survivors benefit was added in the December addendum.

SCATS said...

To 3:26PM ~~ If I get a chance, I'll try looking through the archives to see what I find. I seem to recall the lifetime provision came as quite a shock to the community after Walts left.

Anonymous said...

I believe I can clear up the timing on Walts' contractual health care discrepancy. It's no secret that I and others tried for over a year in'08 and '09 to
try to get the Walts' health care rip off of taxpayer dollars rescinded, but the board under Boily refused to act as did local agencies and we were not successful due to the politics of this town, county and school board. I will post a portion of the December 14, 2004 addendum to his contract regarding his
enhanced health care benefit so generously given by the the Phelan
controlled board.


"the cost of eighty percent(80%) of the premium of any family health insurance plan chosen by the Superintendent from those offered by the District. Should the Superintendent retire from the district or become disabled while in service to the district, he will be eligible to continue coverage in any group health
insurance program and the District will contribute one hundred percent(100%) of
the cost of this health care coverage, including dental".
JM

SCATS said...

Gee Joe, I thought you were never ever in a gazillion years going to post using your name, initials or other identifiers to SCATS BLOG.

TY for saving me from having to look this up.

Anonymous said...

Scats; unfortunately for me, this topic has been a stone in my shoe since 05. That, combined with information I received from my contact in PWC last evening
pushed me over the edge. The powers that be in PWC just gave "Teflon Steve" a new contract with a hefty wage increase. The item that lit me up was a clause that gives him $30,000/year to buy health insurance. And if that isn't enough to "rot your socks" they also approved his plan to build a PERFORMING ARTS CENTER thereby putting the finishing touch on his effort to make PWC school district, and I quote "A world class school district". Where have we heard that before? This guy is without a doubt The Prince of freakin darkness. Glad I could help. JM

SCATS said...

Well, Joe, it appears to me that your PWC contact isn't very current in that they were already giving him $27,150/yr already to be used for that or other similar perks. Here's a link to that info from a BLOG near him:

http://sheriffofnottinghampwc.blogspot.com/2013/03/school-board-gives-away-store-to.html#!/2013/03/school-board-gives-away-store-to.html

SCATS said...

Regarding the SIDE DEAL:

I have confirmation that NYSED says these deals are "no deal" and that "any material changes to an approved APPR plan must be submitted to the Department for
review and approval." This wasn't.