The Cleveland City Schools are a mess. They have been for years. Just recently, they faced a deficit of tens of millions of dollars, and were forced to lay off 643 teachers and close 7 schools.
Guess where a large chunk of that budget shortfall went? It went to pay retiring teachers and administrators for unused sick time and vacation time that they had been saving up. Almost nowhere in the private sector will you find an employer where you are expected to be paid for...er, simply not getting sick and showing up to work.
Ah, but there is a magical place created by public employee unions. Not only do you get paid for showing up and doing your job, but later, you get to demand extra pay for all those times you didn't get sick, and still had the fortitude to go to work. That is, its magical until you realize who that employer is, and who is footing the bill for it. It's you.
Welcome to collective bargaining, my friends.
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Cleveland Municipal School District, scratching for every penny, could use the nearly $5 million paid to employees who have retired since last summer.They call it severance?
Records show that 269 employees cashed in that amount of accumulated vacation and sick leave since the fiscal year started July 1. Topping the list are two administrators who each collected about $83,000, one after working in the system for four years.
Nearly 70 percent of the employees picked up at least $10,000 in what the district calls severance; more than 40 percent received $20,000 or more.
Now, where I come from, severance is what a company pays you after they've laid you off. This isn't severance. This is legalized robbery. Oh, don't worry wingnuts, the liberals say. "Public employers won't give away the store. We don't need limits on collective bargaining."
Tell that to the parents whose kids' school was just closed. They pay their taxes. They work hard at their private sector jobs, where when it comes to their vacation time, the policy is "use it or lose it." Now they watch as hundreds of teachers retire and cash in on enough unused sick and vacation time to buy a new car. Tell that family that if they think PEU collective bargaining has gone too far, than darnit, they must hate the middle class!
Think its just the Cleveland schools? Think again.
The Cleveland school district is not the only government agency paying for sick and vacation time. For example, the Columbus school system, Ohio's largest, has paid more than $2.9 million to 220 employees this fiscal year.So, the rule of thumb seems to be, that if you're being paid by your fellow citizens, you should get to demand a big payout for all those times you didn't get sick.
State and local government workers in Ohio who cashed in sick time last year received an average of $17,000, according to the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions.
Here's one thing that that, to me, is infuriating. The very same people who are losing their jobs partly because of unreasonable contract terms such as this, are the same people who are "standing united" against Senate Bill 5. The same people go to the school board meetings and yell "Shame on you!". It's ridiculous. Do they want to be paid with a check that bounces?
I wonder if any of them would give up their banked sick time in order to save another teacher's job. Doesn't sound like any of them would, because its their right, you know. Standing united, indeed.
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