Thursday, May 08, 2014

The Great GASA Give-Away!



At the Feb. 25th BOE meeting, the BOE approved a new 4-year contract with GASA. Neither the BOE Prez. nor the BOE VP were present. The contract was approved on a 7 - 0 vote with O'Toole at the helm for the meeting.

It's now early May. As of yesterday evening, this contract still HAS NOT BEEN POSTED to the GCSD website. Perhaps there's a good reason. Perhaps they don't want the masses realizing that their posted "Cost Comparison of Tentative Agreement with GASA" is a joke when they have provided an extra $45,000 as an incentive to get long term employees to take their retirement now!

Yes, you heard that correctly. The Greece Central School District is providing an additional $45,000 in compensation to get some of their already very highly paid employees to RETIRE ASAP! Among this group are the Doug Paccelli's and Sue Meier's of the district, both already approved for retirement by the BOE, effective June 30th.

If this news is not bad enough, IN REALITY THAT BONUS WILL CLIMB TO AS MUCH AS $75,000 FOR SOME LONG-TIMERS, because they will be ALLOWED TO TAKE THEIR 2014-15 BENEFITS AS LONG AS THEY MEET THE RETIREMENT DEADLINE!

This means they will get NEXT YEAR'S VACATION PAY, & perhaps also SICK DAYS & PERSONAL DAYS, ETC. WITHOUT WORKING A SINGLE DAY IN 2014-15 SCHOOL YEAR!

One more little "incentive" is that this GOOD-BYE BONUS goes into the final three years average salary calculation for their life time pensions!
 
 
Must be nice to get $75K instead of a lousy gold watch when retiring from GCSD ;)
 
You can thank our BOE!

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nothing new here. The 2004 Phelan controlled board gave Steve Walts the same deal when he left except they let him stay on the books until July 8 the instead of June 30th
If what you are telling us is true, then it's a violation if State Law. The law would consider this a gift of public funds paid to a person without expectation of services in return. Illegal plain and simple under the law . I don't care what the contract says, state law superceeded any terms that are in conflict with the law.
As I recall, the controllers audit in 06' slammed the district for awarding an employee 20,000 as an incentive to retire which she did.
This needs to be appealed by someone to SED.

Anonymous said...

Can this even be appealed? Who has standing to appeal?

Besides, did the 20K award in '06 get reversed, or did the comptrollers report just amount to a slap on the wrist?

Anonymous said...

Any taxpayer can appeal and no it was a slap on the wrist only.

Anonymous said...

When is the budget vote? They won't want this to get out before that.
Any resident of Greece school district has standing that owns a piece of property and pays taxes on it. Are the funds for this golden parachute to people that were retiring anyway included in the 2014-2015 budget?
They have to do the appeal within 30 days of the illegal act. When was the approval of that contract? Of course they could consider the payment to be the date of the illegal act and start the appeal right now. Or the fact it is included(hidden) in the proposed budget.
They would have to serve all of the pertinent parties which would be the board so serve the clerk, the superintendent, all the retirees that would be benefitting from this misuse and "waste" of public moneys. They are all respondents and have to be named. To not name all of them puts the appeal at risk of "not enjoining all relevant parties".
Question to 4:15 Which part of the state law is it that says what you are quoting? Please tell the rest of us. Is it in NYS Education Law or General Municipal Law or both? If anyone wants to do this, do it soon. In the appeal ask for a petition for a stay to prevent the disbursement of the funds. They will have to answer within 3 days if there is such a request attached. Then the commissioner acts on the merits of the case but the money is held up until the judgement. If you don't ask for the stay the money will be given to the retirees and you can't get it back then, even if it is done illegally. You could also throw in a request to the commissioner to remove the board and the superintendent from office for dereliction of duty and failure to follow the law.

Charlie Hubbard said...

One of the 'problems' with this contract aside from being another worthless, do/nothing, give/away was the start - end date of the contract NOT coinciding with the school year thereby making it harder to tie 'educational results' with 'hopefully'?? pay based on 'merit'.
When I left the board this contract was based on the calendar year rather than the school year.
Scats, do you know if this was corrected?

Anonymous said...

12:46 To the best if my recollection , that statement was contained in the Comptroller 's Audit regard the payment of the $20,000 incentive to an administrator as a condition of her termination of employment with the district. The comptroller took that position but I have no knowledge of what law they used to make that determination.

Anonymous said...

I believe the problem exists in the contract .language in their contract as well as GTA, Since the fiscal school year ends every 30 th of June , any employee on the payroll on July 1 st, shall be entitled to all incentive payments and benefits such as sick time, personal days etc in one time lump sum payment upon retirement after that date.
As was the case with Walts, all the employee has to do to qualify for a full package, is effectively retire on July 1 st or anytime thereafter .
Until there is a contractural change in this provision, we are struck with that provision. I do not believe the district has any options here other than to attempt to force retirees to to leave on June 30 th

SCATS said...

To Charlie @6:36AM ~~ According to BOE minutes, the start & end dates for the contract the BOE ratified are from January 1, 2014 through December 30, 2017. That's all I know.

SCATS said...

To 7:27AM ~~ I believe that the resignations I saw accepted by the BOE begin June 30, 2014. When i get a chance, I'll see if I can verify that.

SCATS said...

Regarding resignation dates ~~

According to pg. 10 of the BOE minutes of March 11, 2014, Sue Meier's retirement begins 6/30/14 BUT Doug Pacelli's begins 7/1/14.

Interesting that Meier is shown with only her 13 yrs. of service at Odyssey. She was in GCSD long before that, right??

http://www.boarddocs.com/ny/greece/Board.nsf/files/9HZJ874BB113/$file/3-11-14%20%20draft%20mtg%20min.pdf

Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that the GTA contract. States that a member planning retirement anytime the calendar year, must leave on June 30 th of that year
In pacellis case, the terms and conditions of Retirement might be different.
Just because he is listed as retired on 7-1 does not necessarily mean he is still an active employee meaning his last day of employment was 6-30 as was the case with Meiier.

Anonymous said...

The key is LAST DAY OF EMPLOYMENT.If you are employed on the first day of the new fiscal year, you get the accumulated benefits and any applicable incentives as per the contract.Everything resets on 7/1 which is the first day of the fiscal year.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, I understand your argument but the start end date in no way makes it harder to impose merit pay based on educational performance. However, the hardest thing is and always will be getting the union to accept that concept period.

SCATS said...

To 1:09PM ~~ Pricipals are NOT covered by GTA, but by GASA. In the SAME MEETING MINUTES I quoted above, Pacelli's retirement is listed on pg. 10 as retiring on 7/1 THEN he is shown on pg 11. as being hired for $400/day starting 7/1/14!!

To 1:34PM ~~ The KEY is secrecy!

SCATS said...

WHY ISN'T THE GASA CONTRACT POSTED BY NOW??

Charlie Hubbard said...

to 1:35 - based on what 'is' and 'has been' when merit pay is talked about is not the union as much as the board and super.

Anonymous said...

That 400 dollars can not have any effect in his pension benefits. The New York pension system does not allow a worker to be rehired by the same district he retired from without applying for and being given a waivers. In this instance, waivers are routinely denied. Looks like another contract hire to me.

SCATS said...

To 4:26PM ~~ Just to be a devil's advocate ... how come "not allowed" often does not stop GCSD from doing whatever they want to do?

Anonymous said...

6:50 thank you. I will look up the comptroller's decisions and report for Greece I assume? They would cite the law that was broken in those reports.

Anonymous said...

Let us all look at this. This is a comptrollers opinion 2006 and could be related to this present issue. It looks like they have to have a reserve fund for this. And it looks like they can't give away these incentives.

http://www.osc.state.ny.us/legal/2006/op2006.8.htm

We have to have the copy of the new contract that tells of this incentive retirement benefit.

Anonymous said...

Scats, There is nothing illegal about hiring back a retiree.My point was that what ever he earns, does not effect his pension and there are no costs to the district in terms of contributions to his pension. It's a nice deal for him though as he will be able to receive his monthly pension check in addition to the per diem amount. Nice work if you can get it.
Charlie, the board, and the super can talk about it all they want but merit pay is a mandatory subject of negotiation according to PERB. My point was just this. Unless the union agrees to merit pay at the bargaining table and becomes part of their "worthless" contract, it's just idle chatter between board and super.

SCATS said...

To 5:32PM ~~ Maybe you will have to FOIL it, or ask a GASA member to borrow one.

To 6:25PM ~~ I didn't say it was illegal to hire him back for $400/day, did I?? So why make it sound as if i did?

Charlie Hubbard said...

6:25 Either the board and super believe in merit pay or they don't. I am reading your posting to mean merit pay is just a lot of talk - yes?

Anonymous said...

OK "how come" as question. The fact is that other districts routinely do the same thing so it's not only a case of Greece employing this practice. Others have the option as well as you put it " do what they want" OK
Charlie,I'm sure this issue is on most boards " wish list".But in reality it's mission impossible as there is no way in hell the GTA or any teachers union, will ever agree to even consider merit pay based on educational performance. The district would have the same chance of getting GTA to relinquish their 23 step automatic yearly increase in base salaries as merit pay included in their contractual compensation package .ZERO!!!

SCATS said...

To 8:49PM ~~ Please shoe me that other districts do as they please. I do NOT believe any are as brazen as Greece.

Anonymous said...

With regard to other districts employing this practice I was using your words, It's really not a question of doing what they want to do. It's more of a question of them doing what they CAN do to have a positive impact on the educational and budgetary process within the constraints of the law , As for brazen, that's more of a reflection of one's personal opinion which is highly subjective as to interpretation and fact,

SCATS said...

To 6:19AM ~~ We're talking about a district -- GREECE CENTRAL -- who is quite well known for IGNORING THEIR OWN POLICIES! If that's not brazen, I don't know what is.

As for the Comptroller's Audit, I believe links to it are likely in the archives on this BLOG. In a quick search, I found Achramovitch's & the BOE's plan to respond to it.
http://www.greece.k12.ny.us/files/news/Corrective%20Action%20Outline.pdf

Anonymous said...

Granted! but we're not on the same page, I was referring to the practice of hiring back retired employees.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I prefer to the use if the word INCOMPETENT instead of brazen to describe our board in this regard.
I seriously doubt, that with few exceptions , they are not aware of the existing policies and their content and purpose . It's much easier to go along and get along and besides , familiarization with policies would require some reading and understanding on their part of their meaning and application. Too much work!!

SCATS said...

To 9:39AM ~~ Regardless whatever practice we're discussing, there's no real teeth in any "punishment" for a district that strays away from the laws/policies/regulations, is there? Have you EVER heard of State Ed reducing a district's aid because they "strayed"?? I haven't. They will do whatever they can, however they like ... to get EXACTLY what they want and they won't suffer for it, as we've all seen.

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of this as well. however Iam aware of a couple of times in the past when the commissinor dismissed entire boards for failure to enforce their responsibility to enforce existing laws, policies and regulations of their school districts, A Long Island school district suffered this fate for allowing the Superintendant to max out several credit cards to make personal purchases .He went to jail, they were dismissed,