Thursday, July 12, 2007

Doing the Math: Erwin's gracious offer to forego salary

I was exchanging ideas with a source close to district leadership in St Charles yesterday...and made a wish.

I wished that someone in Illinois would calculate the relative benefits of Erwin's "generous" offer to forego her salary - and just accept a few sick days instead. Today my wish was granted in a comment to one of my posts.

As you will recall, Erwin feigned surprise that anyone in St Charles might complain now - 3 years after the fact - about her contract. Of course, she forgot to mention to the Kentucky press that the contract negotiations were deliberately kept secret, which was determined to be a willful violation of the Open Meetings Act by the Kane County State's Attorney. The public only found out about the shenanigans last month.

And they're...hacked off royally.
Anonymous said...

"I find it interesting because a contract's a contract," said Erwin, during the Kentucky board meeting. "I don't know why there are issues with it ... I didn't take a raise for three years in lieu of the addition of 85 sick days. Now people are upset about it?"

Is there no one in Kentucky who can see through this lie?
Let's do the math.
Figure that a "normal" work year is 250 days.That means 84 days of sick time epresents 32%. At $195,000 annual salary, those sick days are worth $62,400.

And Erwin says she "did not take a raise for three years." Oh really?

If she got a 10 percent raise, it would be worth $19,500.

It it were 20 percent, it would be $39,000.

Instead, she gets a benefit worth -- on its face -- $$62,000 and we idiots are supposed to believe she did us a favor by forgoing a pay raise?

Of course, the actual value of the sick days benefit is many, many times that much....since it could have been used to vest an Illinois pension.

Funny, how no one mentions that this little perk has since been shut down by the Illinois Legislature, which placed a cap of 15 days/year.

Erwin's unmitigated greed and the blatant coverups by her (few) supporters in St. Charles is compounded by the KBE, which is doing the best ostrich move ever seen.

A raise benefits a recipient during the term of the contract. But vestment in the retirement system is a gift that keeps on giving...month after month after month after month...

Anonymous refers to a change in an Illinois law - PA 94-004.

Here's the review...

Confidential sources close to district leadership in St Charles told Kentucky School News and Commentary that the real issue is all about the new law (PA 94-004) and that Erwin wanted 85 days of sick leave credited to her account beginning in 2004, instead of 2005 as called for in her contract (Amendment Two), under some kind of supposed verbal agreement that would have enabled her to vest in the Illinois teacher's retirement system -- an effort that is now lost.

Like all professional school folks, Erwin is covered by the Teachers Retirement System of Illinois, which will grant up to two years of service credit for unused sick leave.

For a number of years, school districts in Illinois took advantage of this by granting an outrageous number of sick days to their superintendents.But a new law, PA 94-004 effectively put a stop to that.

Districts can still grant excessive sick leave to their superintendents, but not without a hefty penalty for doing so.

However, contracts signed before June 1, 2005, which included Erwin’s contract amendment are "grandfathered," When her contract was ratified in June, it probably lost its "grandfathered" status and the district could be required to pay a large penalty for granting her an excessive amount of sick leave.

Potential penalties for the school board are one thing, but there was a big financial incentive for Erwin to vest in the Illinois retirement system - and for that she needed 5 years service credit. Erwin needed the equivalent of two years of service credit, plus three years of employment to be vested at age 62.

Her contract provided for her to receive 85 days of sick leave on July 1, 2005 through July 1, 2008 (85 days X 4 years = 340 days of unused sick leave), but she will not be employed by the district in 2008.

Iin addition to the 15 days of sick leave that all administrators receive each year, Erwin was credited with 170 days of sick leave (85 X 2 = 170 -- July 1, 2005 and July 1, 2006).

Even when she received another 85 days on July 1, 2007, (a good reason not to start her new job in Kentucky on July 1 as the Kentucky Board of Education wanted) she was still short -- she only has 255 days not counting the annual sick leave that all administrators receive.

However, if her account were - somehow - credited with 85 days as of July 1, 2004, she would have at least 340 days of unused sick leave, would reach the magical five years, and would be vested (3 years of employment + two years of unused sick leave service credit = five years).

This story had been circulating as a "rumor" at least since May when Kentucky School News and Commentary published the story. The appearance this week of a memo ordering St Charles Human Resources Director Tony Spahr to add the days starting in 2004 (instead of 2005 as printed in her contract - which is a contract) moves it out of the rumor category.

The memo surfaced this week after the Kane County Chronicle wrote a Freedom of Information Act request and new St Charles Superintendent Donald Schlomann, (who had nothing to hide, and everything to gain by dispatching the Erwin mess) immediately released the document.

That's why folks in St Charles are screaming fraud.

The whole thing stinks; and the memo smells like - evidence.

IF withholding Erwin’s contract from the press was part of an effort to claim 85 sick days starting in 2004 – it apparently ended when the Kane County Chronicle published the contract, which the Herald-Leader did again today.

The contract - which is a contract - says 2005.

Now, SOMEBODY removed Erwin's personnel file from the district and the St Charles police say they will arrest the perpetrator.
The Kentucky Board of Education doesn't get it. They don't want to.

They are too busy supporting Barbara Erwin - in complete denial.


Anonymous said...

Doesn't that 10% figure look familiar. Check one of the Kane County Chronicle's stories this week. They reference at $19,500 raise for improvement achievement in Illinois.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like she really did take a nice pay raise. Thank you, Mr. Day for the figures. It says how the district, and Barbara Erwin are crooks. The Board of Education needs to fined, and removed from office. Barbara Erwins contract needs to be terminated with the Department of Education.

Anonymous said...

A point of clarification. Eventhough,St. Charles may have awarded her 85 sick days this month, TRS will not accept them. The sick days have to be available for use. Essentially you can't be given sick days for days you aren't going to be available for work, (and potentially getting sick) She couldn't be sick 85 days this fiscal year because she is only employed nine days in July. TRS will only allow the nine days towards service credit. Looks like somebody isn't into the finer details of things, you know like resume writing etc.