… then there is some swampland in south Georgia, with an adjoining cesspool, that you might be interested in buying to fund your retirement.
We now have seen the contract offered by DeKalb County Schools to teachers. It is even worse than we thought.
Can you spell I-N-D-E-N-T-U-R-E-D S-E-R-V-I-T-U-D-E?
Just when it seems that DeKalb County Schools’ overpaid administrators and inept school board members can’t be any meaner or colder to our teachers, DCSS kicks it up a notch. And there has been NO comment or pushback from sitting board members who are running for an elected board seat. Or from any other candidates, except Stan Jester, for that matter. Did the rest of the candidates skip the board meeting? In fact, it appears that a ridiculous $750 fine for teachers who “break” their contracts was already set up between the board and the bloated, overpaid Palace People prior to the most recent board meeting. At the least, it appears that the “Love Doctor”, Joyce Morley, worked with her sidekick, Tekshia Ward-Smith, to come up with this ridiculous contract.
As always, we strongly suggest that you seek the advice of your attorney before signing this contract – or any other contract. If you can see an attorney through your professional educators’ organization or through legal benefits paid for by payroll deduction or any other payment plan, by all means do so now.
Our commonsense advice*, though, is:
• Do NOT sign this mean-spirited, unfair and possibly illegal contract.
• DO attend every teacher employment fair in the area, resume in hand.
If you are an excellent teacher – especially an experienced excellent teacher with some recognitions such as Teacher of the Year and/or STAR Teacher – your skills will be in high demand by other neighboring school systems. Go to their teachers fairs and see what they have to offer. (Remember to negotiate that they give you full credit for the years you have worked for DCSS. It is to their benefit to do so since DCSS has already paid into the Teachers Retirement system for the years you have worked for DCSS.)
Moving to another school system means you will probably earn more money and get regular raises, as well as receive the respect you are due. Also you will re-enter Social Security which will be a big financial benefit when you retire. Don’t take our word for it (even though we know). Call Social Security today (1-800-772-1213), make an appointment to speak in person with a Social Security counselor. Find out about the financial hit you will receive at a time in life when you can least afford it by staying with DCSS and not being with an employer who pays into Social Security (or keeps their word concerning a compensatory tax sheltered annuity.)
Meanwhile, for those who have not seen the contract most certainly approved by Thurmond, Ramsey, Ward-Smith and the DCSS school board, here are a few pertinent excerpts:
“This contract salary may be decreased according to any decrease in the State Salary Schedule or any significant decrease in funds from any source due to unforeseen shortfalls in revenue below revenue amounts projected at the time of this contract so as to justify a reduction in the amount for salaries.
The rate is also subject to an adjustment upward or downward according to the Georgia Quality Basic Education Act, O.C.G.A. §20-2-130, et seq., applicable to the classification and type of service to which the Employee has been assigned. The Board shall have no obligation to make up any deficit beyond such sum as may become uniformly applicable to all employees of the same group, classification, type and length of service. The Board and the Employee agree that the salary shall be subject to an adjustment on a pro rata basis for the number of days the Employee does not work during the scheduled days of duty due to late employment, temporary relief from duty by Board action, absence without approval, non-compensated absence with approval, absence when there is no accumulated leave benefit to cover such absence, early separation, or adjustment in official work schedules by Board action.”
“Except in situations in which the District, in its sole discretion, deems to be an emergency, the Employee shall not terminate this contract without written consent of the District. In the event that the Employee terminates this contract, whether by formal notice or the failure or refusal to continue to perform assigned duties, without such written consent, the District shall give notice of such wrongful termination to the Professional Standards Commission. Due to the uncertainty and impossibility of accurately establishing the actual damages that the District will suffer as a result of the Employee’s wrongful termination of this agreement, Employee shall pay to the District the sum of seven hundred and fifty dollars ($750.00) as liquidated damages. Employee further agrees that seven hundred and fifty dollars ($750.00)is a reasonable estimate of the actual damages including but not limited to costs of recruitment, advertising, professional development, and interviewing potential candidates, the District will suffer in the event of Employee’s wrongful termination of this agreement and agrees that this amount may be deducted from the Employee’s final paycheck or any other funds owed to the Employee that are in District’s possession or control. The District, however, further agrees that it will not make any deduction that will reduce the Employee’s wages below minimum wage required by law.”
Cold. Very cold.