Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Cost of Social Justice

Buses wait for their precious cargo at Crocker Farm School

Amherst Regional Public Schools teach social justice; in fact, some would argue our schools preach social justice.  But when it comes time to actually walk the walk and put money where your mouth is, school leadership acts like a Robber-Baron Scrooge squeezing pennies out of those who can least afford it.

Yes, the highest paid administrator in the most expensive public school in the entire region forced the lowest paid employees in the system--bus drivers and custodians-- to sign a legal gag order to receive $18,840 in total wages they were legally owed after the business office miscalculated annual days worked over the years.

But why such heavy handed secrecy?  Perhaps because other low paid full time staff--secretarial and clerical employees, audio-visual technicians, and media aides--are currently unaware they too were unfairly shortchanged over the years and could also demand equal compensation. 

Astonishing.


33 comments:

Roach Patrol Pest Control said...

It's only the beginning.



Knock knock?

Anonymous said...

I find it astonishing, if readers would read the emails that you so kindly linked, that the school's attorney would tell these people to LIE about any such agreement/ Gag Order.....there is no social justice in the town of Amherst.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Larry, you should ask for the original "Separation Agreement", in Tate's reply......sounds like that is the one they are hiding!

LarryK said...

At the moment they are hiding 13 separation agreements I requested one year ago and the Public Records Supervisor ordered them to release them, which they still have not done.

I also requested a few days ago the more recent separation agreements of Beth Graham and Karen Keough-Huff and was informed "there is no agreement."

Anonymous said...

Who cares. Larry, your personal vendetta against Maria Geryk is bordering on sick. Get a life already.

Anonymous said...

Is it not time for a forensic accountant to look at the books?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Who cares. Larry, your personal vendetta against Maria Geryk is bordering on sick. Get a life already.

June 19, 2012 12:20 PM
I don't see this as Larry going after Geryk, what are you trying to hide Anon?

Anonymous said...

Oh the conspiracy theories abound and abound here on Larry's blog. This is "Anon" and I am not trying to hide anything. I am not even associated with the schools.

It really is quite amusing to see all the "conspiracy" people here. Larry fancies himself some kind of Woodward and Bernstein but it's really pathetic what he comes up with.

Anonymous said...

...Other low paid employees~You forgot paraprofessionals~you forgot the real "teachers"...the ones who work, quite literally, on the floor with the most neediest of children in our system~The ones who get all the flack because the elaborate "plans" the high waged administrators dish out fail! I find this astonishing to say the very least~How about Joanne Smith's separation papers? Shouldn't these be public knowledge? Aren't these public employees after all? Oh yeah while we're at it~Crocker Farm after school~The one that has been in place for many years got wiped out of existence by our super sup too! The article in the Bulletin was disgusting!As though the director had a real choice and denied not to be involved with the new program~Not! She would have had to take a $10,000 a year salary decrease~She only earns $34,000 as it is. And hell yeah~give the sup a raise!

The Ponziviller speaks said...

"It really is quite amusing to see all the "conspiracy" people here. Larry fancies himself some kind of Woodward and Bernstein but it's really pathetic what he comes up with."


Pathetic?


People's lives are pathetic?!


You really ~are~ from this "place", aren't you?

Vietnamherst said...

It's not a conspiracy. A conspiracy is admitting you have no concrete facts, it's an academic farce. Larry laid out a solid argument here and is continuously trying to uncover facts.

If you want conspiracy theorists I recommend asking anyone in Amherst Coffee what happened on 9/11 or of the financial markets. Try the unemployed with pony-tails, they're usually good for a few stories.

Anonymous said...

At the moment they are hiding 13 separation agreements I requested one year ago and the Public Records Supervisor ordered them to release them, which they still have not done.

Who takes a YEAR to get information, unless they are trying their best to stall it from the public? Hmmmmm?....

Anonymous said...

"Larry fancies himself some kind of Woodward and Bernstein but it's really pathetic what he comes up with."

If you don't like it, you can pick up your roll of quarters and find another peep show.

Anonymous said...

Every question about how our schools operate is somehow a personal attack on Maria Geryk????

Now there's a working definition of paranoia!

Anonymous said...

JUST what was the agreement for? Ginni states in her email to HR, that the "agreement wasn't for that purpose ( the one you were requesting info on Larry), then just what the hell was the gag order agreement for????? Way too many questions and deception on their part, no social justice in Amherst.....Keep digging Larry!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't have signed it -- I would instead have let them sweat as to what I might do. Remember that it is a *criminal* offense not to pay wages that are due...

Anonymous said...

"But why such heavy handed secrecy? Perhaps because other low paid full time staff--secretarial and clerical employees, audio-visual technicians, and media aides--are currently unaware they too were unfairly shortchanged over the years and could also demand equal compensation.

Astonishing"

I find it astonishing that Larry and his minions are treating pure conjecture on Larry's part as fact. Let's face it, we don't know why these folks were asked to sign this agreement. We don't know that they would not have received their check if they did not sign the agreement. We don't know that others who received incorrectly calculated wages are not also going to receive back pay. Larry has made a scandal out of whole cloth. Yes, keep digging Larry. Let's get some facts here instead of alot of conjecture that some are going hysterical over.

Anonymous said...

FACTS:
1. The school is withholding information that Larry has requested over a year ago.

2. The school has not released information.

3. Read the emails between Ginni Tate and HR, there WAS a forced gag order.

4. Gag Orders are used to protect a business from its employees seeking damages when the business has does something wrong (break the law)

Good luck Larry.....we may never find out what happened, but we know they are indeed hiding something from the public.

Anonymous said...

Let all amoung you who are perfect cast the first stone. The school made a mistake in a leap year. They have fixed it. We are talking about 3 days pay. Not weeks of pay or months of pay. Three days. They found the mistake and fixed it.

I conclude by saying I am in awe of all the perfect folks on this blog. I've never met so many in one place before. It is what keeps me coming back day after day.

Anonymous said...

there is something nixonian with the way central admin views requests for information. just send the info out.

Anonymous said...

Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being. This kind of discriminatory, intimidating behavior against the most vulnerable by school officials is not social justice. It is government corruption and child abuse. Shame on us all for allowing it to continue!

Anonymous said...

Child abuse? Really? Are you equating these employees with children? Really?

Anonymous said...

Dear 1:18 pm commenter: Thanks for helping me clarify. The point I made about child abuse by Amherst school officials against disabled Amherst school children more accurately relates to the Only in Amherst 6/8/2012 "Legal Dynasty Reesteablished" posting not "The Cost of Social Justice" posting before us. Both postings, however, speak to the failure of Amherst school officials to walk their social justice talk.

LarryK said...

I certainly knew what you meant.

Anonymous said...

I had no clue what you meant when lumping in child abuse with this topic. And I certainly strongly disagree with your sentiments that the Amherst school system is guilty of child abuse. Over the top statements like that just negates any legitimate argument you might have.

Anonymous said...

Mark Prince named Interim Superintendent for Gill-Montague.

Should be an interesting year!

Anonymous said...

"The school made a mistake in a leap year. They have fixed it. We are talking about 3 days pay. Not weeks of pay or months of pay. "

Oh, it was only 3 days pay. Well, hey, what's the big deal? You're probably willing to give up 3 days of your pay to your boss right?

I'll tell you what the big deal is. The superintendent and her human resources director with the ego the size of Texas also both know that the school district has not done the right thing and paid all of the clerical workers the money they owe them for the same mistake.

Man up, girls, and pay this other group of lower tier employees the money you tried to rip off of them.

Not a big mistake. Right, What if the Business Office in the district paid everyone 3 days extra of pay? Would that be a big deal? Would any of the Amherst schools loving crowd on this blog be bit*hing about that?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let all amoung you who are perfect cast the first stone. The school made a mistake in a leap year. They have fixed it. We are talking about 3 days pay. Not weeks of pay or months of pay. Three days. They found the mistake and fixed it.

Perfect, if it was such an "innocent mistake".....why the gag order? I just love the HR damage control, LMAO!

Knock, knock? said...

Mark,


Remember what I told you that last day, as you and I were standing outside the administrative offices down at the south end of the middle school (in the parking lot)? How I felt that what "happened" to you was HORRIBLE (and it was)... and you agreed (you also agreed that what was happening to me was equally, if not more horrible)? Remember my last words? I wished you all the very best Mark? Remember that?

Mark, congratulations.


TURNERS FALLS — The director of academic effectiveness for Northampton public schools, Mark Prince, will serve as the new interim superintendent for Gill-Montague School District.
The new district leader joins the nine-member School Committee as it works to transition the district from a Level 4 “underperforming” school system, a designation determined by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The district has recently developed an accelerated improvement plan to move out of its low status.
After a one-hour interview, in which he answered 10 questions from the School Committee on Tuesday night, Prince accepted the one-year job offer to replace outgoing interim Superintendent Nadine Ekstrom, who declined the offer of a three-year contract to take a job closer to her home. Ekstrom’s decision to leave the district caused the committee to begin the search to fill the position temporarily and permanently.

You know, I gave you support that day because I ~knew~ you were their patsy, Mark. I told you that.

A lot of people have come and gone since then, haven't they?

A lot.

Isn't it amazing?

Anonymous said...

I've read everything Larry wrote and all the comments.

There must be something here that we can blame on Catherine Sanderson.

LarryK said...

You mean besides being born CAS?

Anonymous said...

Larry,

What ever came of this?

LarryK said...

Not much. The bricks and mortar media failed to follow up and school officials kept their heads down.

I'm told the other impacted current low paid workers will get a settlement but nobody is trying to track down former employees who are owed $.