LETTER: District must address leaves, which are covered by contractsFirst, FMLA was never part of the discussion. Why you made that the initial focus of your editorial makes me think you did not watch the entire discussion during the March 4 School Board meeting.
By: Steve Anderson, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
First, FMLA was never part of the discussion. Why you made that the initial focus of your editorial makes me think you did not watch the entire discussion during the March 4 School Board meeting.
Secondly, the current contracts do allow for unpaid leave. Our employees are not asking for anything that is not part of their contract and has not been granted in the past.
What I am arguing is that we need to uphold the terms of the contract. That is not happening and needs to be rectified.
I am also asking for clarification of the current situation. We do not have the full picture. When the principals asked for the situation to be looked at, the issue should have come before the board then.
I would also like to clarify that teachers, support personnel and cooks do not get paid for winter break or during the summer. Teachers are salaried and, per the terms of their contract, are paid a salary for their defined work days. If they choose to spread their pay out over 12 months, it does not mean they are getting paid for the summer. Winter break and summertime is unpaid time for our support personnel and cooks.
Finally, my wife has been an employee of the school district for over six years and has never asked for unpaid time off. Again, if you saw the board meeting in question, my wife spoke as the president of the cook’s union and regarding her former co-worker who resigned over the hassle of unpaid time off.
The fact of the matter is that we have an issue that needs to be looked at. It is impacting employee morale and therefore it is impacting the education of our children. We need to come together and discuss it with all the facts in front of us.
Please note, I am not saying that every employee request should be granted. However, each situation needs to be looked at as each situation is different.
Steve Anderson serves on the Red Wing School Board.