Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The benefits of Benefits


Vacation Time: The Principal is entitled to twenty-two (22) days of vacation annually to be scheduled through and subject to approval by the Superintendent. Unused vacation shall be cumulative to a maximum of forty-four (44) days. Upon completion of fifteen (15) years of administrative service in the local school systems, the Principal will be eligible for twenty-seven (27) days of vacation annually, cumulative to a maximum of 54 days. Should the Principal request 30 or more vacation days for use at one time, she/he will submit such request to the Superintendent at least 6 weeks in advance of the date on which such vacation use is proposed to begin.
Holidays: The following days shall be recognized as legal holidays:

New Year's Day Patriot's Day Columbus Day
Martin Luther King Day Memorial Day Veteran's Day
President’s Day Independence Day Thanksgiving Day
Labor Day Christmas
Sick Leave:
a. Sick leave is intended to provide insurance against loss of income due to personal illness. An Administrator shall be entitled to eighteen (18) days of sick leave with full pay per contract year. Each eighteen (18) days of sick leave shall exist as of the beginning date of contract, provided that the administrator is present to assume his/her contractual obligations. In the event of non-appearance caused by accident or illness, the administrator's pay may be withheld, with due notification to the person, pending the assumption of contractual responsibility. Sick leave shall be cumulative to 240 days.

b. Absence by reason of death or critical illness in the immediate family shall not be charged against sick leave.

c. An administrator who has completed fifteen (15) or more full years of service with the Committee, may upon retirement or the administrator's estate upon death, be compensated for that portion of his/her unused accumulated sick leave in excess of 120 days, at the rate of $20/day for each unused accumulated sick leave day in excess of 120 days.

11. Personal Leave: Up to three (3) days per year of personal leave will be allowed for each full-time administrator. Such personal leave will not be charged against sick leave. Additional personal leave, up to a combined maximum of eighteen (18) days per year may be granted by the School Committee. Such additional leave is normally charged against sick leave at the discretion of the School Committee. Personal leave will be used to take care of problems or business for which absence is not authorized under any other portion of this contract and will be granted without reference to the specific nature of the request. Personal leave shall not be used to gain extended vacation time, and personal leave shall not be cumulative.


So the Superintendent gets the same benefits package as do the Principals and the document entitled "School Committee Benefits Policy For Principals" was attached to Alberto Rodriguez's original contract. But there's something else called Family Medical Leave Act:

This is a federal law which entitles anyone who has worked in a job for a year to twelve weeks unpaid, intermittent sick leave to support a family member or oneself if validated by a licensed physician.

There are forms (FMLA) that must be completed to be granted this. For sake of consistency, the Amherst Schools use these forms as validation of an illness even if someone, like Dr. Rodriguez, has not worked here a full year.

Furthermore, the Schools permit staff to use 10 of their own sick days in a school year to support family illness, so they suffer no loss in pay. They permit staff to accrue up to 245 total sick days. (In general, staff get 12-15 sick days annually.)

In Superintendent Rodriguez's case, he has not been here a year--but was instantly granted 20 sick days upon signing his contract last spring. All staff, regardless of their length of service, are required to complete the FMLA paperwork if they have either a planned sick leave or an unexpected sick leave which is more than 3 consecutive days.

So Dr. Rodriguez's 2/22 "sick day" does not trip the FMLA paperwork--because it's only one day--and neither does the April 15th and 16th sick days; but 4/20 to 4/23 will because it is 4 days.

UPDATE: 1:00 PM Reliable sources confirm that Nick Grabbe, forever reporter with the venerable Daily Hampshire Gazette, is on the story.

And according to this puff piece in the Bully, he can take the heat.


Anonymous said...

Larry, once again: watch Mazur.

LarryK4 said...

I have--for a few years now.

She actually strikes me as pretty darn competent.

Anonymous said...

"She actually strikes me as pretty darn competent."

I warned you.

Just keep it on your radar.

Anonymous said...

Larrey, keep your eye on Chief Wiggins.

Anonymous said...

AND keep an eye cast skyward for those little green men who are always out to get us...and, oh yeah, you have to REALLY keep a sharp eye out for "Bessie the Monster o' The Lake" whenever you take a dip in Puffer's Pond...oops, and I almost forgot about Sasquatch - now THAT guy is a REAL sneaky, untrustworthy, out-to-get'cha kinda dude! YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!!!

LarryK4 said...

Hey, maybe all you Anons can unionize and get a group discount on therapy.

Or start your own damn blog.

Anonymous said...

I think Colonel Mustard did it in the boys' bathroom with the thermometer.

How's the water, Larry?

LarryK4 said...

Thanks for proving my point.

Anonymous said...

But if we unionize and form our OWN blog then we won't get to have the fun of sticking our noses into YOUR business on YOUR blog (hmmm...sticking our noses where they don't belong...being obnoxious...sounds like a certain someone we all know and love).

Anonymous said...

Ouch! That hurts!

Anonymous said...

once again.. any reason to complain...

Anonymous said...

If you dont like Anons.. then take that option off your Comment feed..

Anonymously anonymous

Anonymous said...

Isn't this the same S. Hadley school committee member and resident Kathryn Mazur?

Oh little Amherst... foolish foolish little Amherst.

Anonymous said...

Here comes your little green men, you prozac sucking anarchist you...

Gonna chase you with my big broom!



Anonymous said...

To get back on subject. We are in a fiscal crisis, we've been told. And quite frankly it was known that we were in a crisis at the time of the Superintendent's hire.

Yet the contract negotiated was very rewarding....travel $ to visit family. Housing allowance? in a tough economci time?? Makes me think I want to buy a car from THAT negotiating committee!!

I can't speak to the sick leave at this time, it may completely legit. But the first two, housing and travel $ were red flags to me from the beginning.

Not against the superintendent, by any means. Although some of his quotes about leaving his family were odd: as far as I know he APPLIED for the position...

But I think that the folks who are charged with responsible management of tax payer funds
demonstrated a real disconnect with economic reality. But it was sooo awesome to have "consensus"


Anonymous said...

"Mazur and board member Elaine Brighty visited Westland Hialeah Senior High School in the Miami-Dade School District last week and found that Rodriguez is extremely well regarded there, they said.

Brighty described the high school a "fascinating" place, with a gymnasium above a parking garage, for instance, in an urban neighborhood.

Rodriguez enforces high standards and is adept at politics in a setting that makes Amherst seem "like hopscotch and smiles" by comparison, Brighty said."

Stuuuupid stuuupid little Amherst...

Anonymous said...

So, we all get smeared as stupid? I take zero responsibility for the stupidity of Elaine Brighty.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Considering the situation we are in, we could use two of Dr. Rodriguez. The fact that no one listens to him, not the School Committee and certainly not anyone here, just shows how backward we really are.

Dr. Rodriguez has said, elsewhere,

In the proposed budget which we have not presented yet since we are dealing only with the expense side of the ledger, we are already using $280,000 in reserves -- $80,000 from E&D and $200,000 from Choice.

Last year we used for this year's budget another $280,000 from reserves.

Just like in your own savings account for rainy days, you cannot keep drawing it down without replenishing it.

Using more than that would be fiscally irresponsible since it would put us in a financial situation that would affect our bond rating, and that has other implications, such as having to borrow money at a higher interest rate.

Alberto Rodriguez

Yet we insist that the School Committee somehow has the power to create reserve funds out of nothing.

You used them up after the 2007 override. They are gone.

Now what?

I know, sell off the gold toilet seats!

If there really is such a thing.

Anonymous Anonymous

Anonymous said...

huh...yes, two superintendents nobody listens to. That's a good solution.

How about this: how about Amherst waking up and realizing that the people who are willing to reward an UNKNOWN new employee with travel $ and housing allowance $ and the self same folks avocating that without an override WE will face cuts to the schools that are detrimental is the absurdity. YES, we are responsible for the acts of elected officials.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

That and eight bucks will get you a cup of coffee.

Anonymous said...

Kathryn Mazur had a lot to say 9/30/09 about bullying... A whole lot (left end):


S Hadley is so proud of its' little doodler.

Anonymous said...

So you bully Kathy and she does what?

Off's herself?

You are one classy guy.

Anonymous said...

She's such a warm caring individual. Very thoughtful.

(Wake up)

Anonymous said...

"I think Colonel Mustard did it in the boys' bathroom with the thermometer.

How's the water, Larry?"

Ron Bohonowicz LOVES the plumber.

Oh, you can't beat their partnership with a stick.

Why is that?

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm sure this little fat man is worth every penny we are paying him over the next 3 years.

Arod, can you let us know when you'll be sick in 2012? We're planning a bake sale to try to save the schools, after we close our next highest performing elementary school, and we want to know when you'll be going to Miami. They have that great flour down there that we just can't get up here. Do you think you could help us out by bringing back a 10 lb. bag?

p.s. the public is just now discovering what the school employees have known for some time about the fat man. Wait til you hear what else he is doing.

Anonymous said...

Besides hiring his friends at CORE to "review" our programs?

Can't wait to hear!

Anonymous said...

"Committee member Kathleen Anderson said the memo did not concern her and added that Rodriguez's time off is not relevant to his evaluation.

The intense criticism of Rodriguez could be related to the fact that he is Cuban-American, Anderson said. "In U.S. culture, there's a tendency to see the same behaviors in a person of color differently than a person of European descent," she said."

Kathleen = fail

Anonymous said...

And when you come right down to it, this is really all that Kathleen Anderson has to say, over and over and over and over.

Anonymous said...

if the definition of racism is to "see the color of a person's skin FIRST, and then make judgments based on that skin color" then Kathleen Anderson is the most racist person i know. Every comment she makes leads with some race-related observation. She is going to lose ALL credibility if she doesn't start to mix it up a little bit and pull in some non-race-related themes to her rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

It may be legit: who knows what the Superintendent or his family is going through in his personal life? Not my business as long as the SC is doing its job and is satisfied that it's legit.

But I wonder if the SC IS doing its job if a SC member makes such as statement. Whatever her personal beliefs, Ms. Anderson is an elected official and rather than trying to intimidate taxpayers (and perhaps other SC members??) who have legitimate questions, she should take her fiscal responsibility seriously and ensure that funds expended to any school employee are spent soundly and rules applied to all in a like manner.

Ed said...

I was in a Stop & Shop tonight.

It wasn't called a "Stop & Shop", it was called a "Giant" but it was a "Stop & Shop", right on down to identical color-coding of employee shirts and identical artwork on the store brand dairy products.

It was a Stop & Shop - albeit 500 miles from home, but a Stop & Shop. Normal weekday evening grocery store -- with everyone grumbling about the new 5 cent tax that DC now imposes on every single plastic bag. (Folks are not happy about that.)

Then I realized - other than myself, absolutely everyone in the store was black. Everyone.

It wasn't any bizarre different reality - it was a very normal grocery store.

And the thing that people like Catherine Anderson need to understand is that they may speak about being black in an all-white community, but I truly wonder if she can speak about an all-black community....

Anonymous said...

Kathleen Anderson is a wonderful example of how there are no racial barriers to stupid.

There are stupid people of all races and ethnicities.

Elaine Brighty (white) negotiated A-Rod's contract with the huge salary and travel money to work here and live in Miami.

Kathleen Anderson (black) defends his no-show job on the basis of him being Hispanic.

They're like the Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney of stupid.

Ed said...

My bad! KATHLEEN Anderson.

Phonetically similar names always make life interesting...

And I am still wondering what the people in that Stop & Shop qua Giant would have made of her - I really doubt they would have been impressed.

And the sad thing is that - and this is just my guess - the median income in that store would have been lower than hers. Yes there was the 40ish couple ahead of me who likely had a 6 figure income but the guy behind me buying a flower bouquet for his wife didn't.

Anonymous said...

I have a toilet plunger and a toilet snake, can I get a job as a plumber for the town and get paid for it? I don't have a license, but please, pretty please, can some one give me a job? Oh, I guess you have to know somebody, or be connected to get that, eh? Can I at least get paid a high salary for the position of plumber, but really only change rubber washers and such? Maybe Mazur will write a one of those "special contracts" up for me..?

Anonymous said...

So, SO TYPICAL, let's all pull the race card into it and deviate from the point/issue. Anybody seen my white rabbit? escaped from my top hat last night.

Anonymous said...

this blog is increasingly looking like it could be part of the tea party.

Anonymous said...

With 8 weeks off- it looks like the superintendent position could be turned into a "school year only" position.

That will help trim the budget!