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Teachers address board with concerns about abolishing early retirement, longevity pay plan

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — A potential firestorm is developing concerning a proposal by the Wellington School Board that wants to discontinue the USD 353 early retirement plan and longevity pay.The board has indicated to the Wellington National Education Association during the annual teacher contract negotiation process that the plan needs to be abolished due to budgetary restraints.This marked the first time that such a proposal has been brought up publicly. Sumner Newscow will investigate the full scope of the proposal as the story develops. Wellington school teachers Mike Wilmoth and Pat Zeka along with Brenda Gray, President of the W-NEA, were on hand to address the proposal to the board at its monthly meeting Thursday.Wilmoth has been a teacher for over 30 years, and said during some of his years of employment he and his fellow teachers have foregone pay raises with the promise it would pay off later in years.“We always worked under the promise that this program would be here for us when we came to the end of our teaching careers,” Wilmoth said. “It was cut in 2009 from $170,000 over 10 years to $40,000 over five years for the most experienced teachers. Please don’t take the rest away.”Gray asked the board to give teachers, some who are just learning about the proposal last week, an extra month to determine whether they want to retire or continue teaching if the proposal is followed through.Zeka said she would like a time period after the negotiated item is resolved to determine her future course of action.The board made no comment and took no action on the matter at Thursday’s meeting.••••Aviator Church turned down The board voted to not allow Aviator Church to use the Wellington High School for church services starting in September.The church, which has been meeting at the Wellington Regent Theater, wanted to use the auditorium for at least a year.However, the board members indicated they weren’t against the church using the facilities, but the length of time they were wanting to use them which appeared to be over a year every Sunday.Board member Dixie Blankenship said her concern was the church wanting to use five classrooms which are used by the teachers.•••••Marquee proposal The Wellington High School electronic marquee at the building entrance has been inoperable for some length of time. Wellington Superintendent Rick Weiss said to get the board fixed will cost the school district around $15,000.The board said it would allow businesses to advertise for an annual fee for five to seven years on a one year basis. The specifics will not be hammered out at this time, because of uncertainty with the budget.•••••In other business, the board:•tabled a motion to select a bank for future banking purposes until information about annual interest rates are addressed;•agreed to develop a credit card receipt program through Security State Bank which would allow patrons and students to use their credit cards for various fees;•agreed to use Employers Unity, a company designed to take care of unemployment filings, for $1,500 to do research on various cases;•approved a request by Ed LeValley to hold a Wild West Days for April 26-27 at the Wellington High School;•hired Tony Ybarra as the head Wellington Middle School track coach. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (34) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. -6 Vote up Vote down Yes & No · 390 weeks ago Are you kidding me!!! A KPERS II (so called USD 353 early retirement plan/program) fund that they (teachers) do not pay into–if I am reading this article correctly. Last time I checked USD 353 is taxpayer supported. Big question here–“Is this legal”? Now if they (teachers) are paying into this plan/program, I have no problem. Please tell me that they (teachers) are. Is this going on at other school districts? Report Reply 7 replies · active 390 weeks ago -1 Vote up Vote down WHSSupporter · 390 weeks ago Maybe the school district should have paid teachers accordingly instead of promising an extra retirement plan over all these years? Was this “extra” retirement plan put in place by people long since retired from district to ensure that they were comfortable in retirement without thought to what would happen down the road to future teachers? How do USD353 teachers salaries and retirement plans compare to other districts of similar size? Is there a way to phase out this early retirement plan, grandfather-in teachers with a certain amount of years and then get the salaries where they should be (and still have the KPERS plan)? Report Reply 6 replies · active 389 weeks ago +11 Vote up Vote down Sam · 390 weeks ago OMG, good luck all. I see teachers moving on from Wellington Report Reply 0 replies · active 390 weeks ago +10 Vote up Vote down Ghost · 390 weeks ago This program is all over the state. You have had several take advantage of such programs. Leaving so they can “retire” but then move onto another district to “double dip” So basically almost doubling their salaries. In one such case a former coach that ised to be here in the 80’s “retired” from his school as he was maxed out and moved on to another, worked there five years and then moved to another one and was making over a hundred grand. Not so sure that was what the program was designed for. So for all those that took advantage of the program (which costs the district a half a million now) and used it like that are you not to blame also? yes Wellington wages are lower than some around but when your paying ghosts a half a million a year how do you get the wages up? The district is caught in the middle do they continue to pay knowing they cannot raise wages and get better teachers so everyone complains or do they just say no more and move on. Tough call to make. i feel sorry for those that actually retired and need that money for those double dipping and taking advantage of the system, well the well has run dry. Report Reply 6 replies · active 389 weeks ago +7 Vote up Vote down WHS ALUM · 390 weeks ago I think there needs to be some type of public forum so the taxpayers can really understand what is going on here. This isn’t right, it isn’t the teacher’s fault for taking advantage of what is there for them…but it isn’t right. and in the end the ones that suffer are the kids because we can’t pay our good teachers what they are worth or attract new teachers to move the ineffective ones out. When did this start, how much is our district paying out per year and when will it stop. These are some of the questions I want answered. School board, quit side stepping the questions and put it out on the table-which means you teachers that are getting this will have to open up too. We the taxpayers deserve to know exactly what is going on here. Report Reply 1 reply · active 390 weeks ago -1 Vote up Vote down JustME · 390 weeks ago Lest we forget the most recent assessment scores? I’d say most (definately not all) teachers are getting paid equally to their performance. Also, if it’s not in writting, it doesn’t exist. If you were only promised something that is now being taken away, you only have the union negotiating team to blame. If they weren’t smart enough to get it in writing, then you probably don’t have much to go on. Also, does no one else see a problem with the school selling advertising on the marquee? That could definately open up a can of worms. Report Reply 0 replies · active 390 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Ghost · 390 weeks ago Booster I am well aware of how kpers works. Yes you can max out pay in a school district. Not on kpers I understand that. The coach had maxed out his pay scale so he moved on. The half million was a statement made from a member of the boe a few years back. How many other public professions pay a person extra money when they retire? Even though no money was contributed to it the deal was that low wages basically would be made up for with a retirement BONUS. Would that be a fair way of saying it? Report Reply 0 replies · active 390 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down Ghost · 390 weeks ago So a person pays 22% on the extra job….lets see your getting how much from the district you retired. Probably took a raise at your NEW job because Wellington pay is so low…how is that not a win win. if they are losing so much money why have so many done it? I am all for our teachers getting what they deserve they have a tremendous responsibility in teaching our kids. I understand that they are under paid. But what is the anwer? You give facts but no resolution. AT what expense do we continue to fund a program that is killing this district? I would love to hear them. I would love to see the BOE show everyone the numbers. If you need to delete names that is fine just the numbers and exactly what is it costing the district in the overall budget…Do they have a plan? Is this something that should have been looked at years ago? Like to see the total history on this plan…Cue you got some work to do. Cow readers need the facts. Most of this should be open record. Report Reply 1 reply · active 389 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down Rick · 390 weeks ago My understanding is that the program was originally put in place to save the district money. the way it was to work was like this. An older teacher who was making $40,000 a year would retire and get 3/4 or the pay in retirement from KEPERS ($30,000) USD 353 would pay the retired teacher $10,000 a year in “early retirement”. The teacher could retire with the same income and the USD 353 would have $30,000. They were to use that money and hire a new teacher who would be low on the pay scale, say at $25,000 thus saving the district $5,000. The problem arose first when the administrators were able to get “early retirement into their contracts. They make $20,000 to $30,000 more than teachers which raises the cost of to the district tremendously. Then the next problem came when the district hired new teachers and administrator and paid them top wages instead of hiring new people in at low wages. There is the problem not enough money to support both. Report Reply 3 replies · active 389 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Sam · 390 weeks ago WOW did I read some where above that a teacher can max out a paycheck? So you get no more raises and you are still teaching and have many years to go before you CAN retire? Or did I miss read all this stuff about teachers paycheck, not retirement pay tho. Report Reply 0 replies · active 390 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. 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