‘Where’s our new contract?’

Tue, 03/24/2009 - 4:12pm
By: Ben Nelms

Supt. DeCotis says wording being changed to give system more flexibility

Employees of the Fayette County School System, already dealing with voluntary furloughs, school staff reductions and a 4.5 percent pay cut beginning in July, have begun getting nervous about their contracts for the coming year.

So far, few, if any, teachers have received any contract paperwork that normally comes in March.

Noting ongoing funding uncertainties, Superintendent John DeCotis in a March 17 board meeting update newsletter to employees said the wording of upcoming contracts was being re-worked to allow for flexibility in case salaries needed to be adjusted up or down.

DeCotis said contracts are normally signed in March, but due to the uncertainty in funding many school systems, such as Fayette, decided to build in a sufficient degree of flexibility into the contracts to allow for the unexpected.

In the case of Fayette, he said that flexibility might be needed if the state cuts funding again, since that was already done three times this year.

“Due to the uncertainty in next year’s funding budget we are working with our board attorney to rework the wording of the contracts to allow more flexibility in the event we have to make salary adjustments,” the newsletter said.

If state funding decreases again those adjustments could mean lower salaries for every school system employee, DeCotis said, and if federal stimulus money comes into education it could mean an upward adjustment to salaries.

Either way, the language in the contracts needs to be sufficient to address those parameters, DeCotis said.

DeCotis said he hoped to have received direction on the wording within a week. He said some other school systems have used similar wording and some are now having contracts signed. He said Fayette is double-checking the wording again to make sure all contingencies are covered.

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redrooster's picture
Submitted by redrooster on Sat, 03/28/2009 - 7:04pm.

Home school!

Submitted by ptcmom678 on Thu, 03/26/2009 - 7:10am.

We have stayed in Fayette County for over 20 years basically because of the school system. Right now, the teacher morale must be at an all-time low, the school administrators are chasing themselves trying to keep their jobs, and the administration/BOE alternates between denial and chasing themselves to keep their or their relatives' jobs. Why am I still here? Because in the current real estate market, houses won't sell!

Gene61's picture
Submitted by Gene61 on Sat, 03/28/2009 - 4:46pm.

um...Well there maybe some apathy, but the school systems rating still remains high, so the teachers and students are productive...

The teachers union is no better, mostly a political arm of the DNC , but I digress, little to off topic.. Given the systems Excellent ratings, we'll stay here.

Submitted by Goldie on Sat, 03/28/2009 - 5:28pm.

Do you realize that you haven't even begun to see the results of the mismanagement of your school system? Fayette is losing 100 + highly qualified teachers- Some fresh and full of new ideas, many experienced, dedicated ones who are simply being cut because they retired and elected to work 49% of the time. They obtained those 49% positions because they were needed and their experience was valuable. Now, they are of no value to Smith, Smola, Wright, and Ellis- who have managed to run the once great system into the ground (all under the watchful eye of Dr. D.)
The decline won't be nearly as slow as that of Clayton County - Fayette's on fast forward!

Submitted by fayette911 on Wed, 03/25/2009 - 7:03pm.

Teachers are taking another slap in the face,
"we are giving you a contract, but we are doing our damned best to make it a contract we can break if we need to... do you wanna sign it?" Call Dr. D and ask him what happens to a teacher if THEY want to break their contract? Ask him why for the love of God does he feel (it did come from him) that administrators need three year contracts?
Fayette is NOT what it used to be that is for sure! These decisions will come home to roost, not soon enough to make Dr. D and his wrecking crew hurt for their decisions, but it will come back to bite soon enough.

Submitted by MacTheKnife on Wed, 03/25/2009 - 8:40am.

Yet another slap in the face of the Fayette Teachers and Staff. While other systems have issued contracts our incompetent human (non) resources department and the multi-year contract gang are further humiliating the teachers of Fayette County.

Shame on all of you! You are a sorry lot.

Submitted by Goldie on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 10:30pm.

Have given their released teachers their jobs back. (not Fayette)
Have reserve funds to get them through tough times (not Fayette)

Have not formed a "pool" where many professionals will drown before getting their jobs back in Fayette.

Who else won't suffer by not having a contract? The teenage and college age children of upper administrators who will be at various schools throughout the county during the summer with nice part-time jobs. They don't even have to look online for these jobs because THEY ARE NOT POSTED or advertised.
Wonder if our colleagues who are now in the "job pool" with 100+ others will have the opportunity to apply for these jobs??

Submitted by allegedteacher on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 9:17pm.

...meaning the lawyers are working on their CYA maneuvers.

Submitted by mysteryman on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 9:25pm.

I sure that Mr D. and the three amigos are planning their emergency egress, complete with golden parachute, based on the silence as of late, im sure its just the calm before the storm....BLESS

Submitted by mysteryman on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 9:14pm.

Thes are big words, coming from Mr D.... The only stimulation that i can see coming his way, is in the form of a boot next election. Know what im saying...PEACE...

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 9:21pm.

Um, Mysteryman? You do know that ths county school superintendent is not an elected position, right?

Although we citizens will have an opportunity to break the back of the inept "Gang Of Three" BOE commissioner cabal when Lee Wright is up for re-election in 2010.

Submitted by mysteryman on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 9:29pm.

This is even more the reason to recall the county commision, for not sending these compadres packing, when their incompetence became apparent with the squandering of the budget.....BLESS

Submitted by ptcmom678 on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 4:36pm.

This is a really transparent strategy to enable the BOE to take away teachers' raises without notice, furlough without notice, increase insurance without notice...my goodness, I'm noticing a trend. And just think, the people in the administrative building don't sign an annual contract. Neither do the janitorial staff, t-p drivers, Stonewall Secretaries, etc. The only people who sign contracts are...that's right...the ones with DIRECT STUDENT CONTACT.

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