Oshkosh educators abandon 90 sick days a year in new contract

Governor Scott Walker is already racking up little local victories with his plan even if it remains unpublished.

According to Adam Rodewald from The Oshkosh Northwestern, the new contract forged between the district and educators abandons the previous 90 days each year protected with income for illness and OR (see comments) disability to 10 days each year that can be accumulated to 90. That combined with other concessions will net the district approximately $4 million in savings for the next budget.

You can not even begin to image the slew of words that came out of my mouth when I first read the story. They would have made a sailor blush. In my disbelief, I actually gave Adam a call. He verified that ninety (90) was not a typo, and offered to send the contract language, which I just received.

And so, this is where I must explain to teachers everywhere: beware the company you keep.

I have had wonderful educators for my children in the last few years; I have also had some average and a couple of stinkers in the mix. In general, I hold educators in high esteem. But, (you knew it was coming) when educators gang together to bargain approximately one-third of their working year by contract as sick leave, it doesn’t make rest of you look very charming.

I still can’t believe that number. Good job to the district for making this new contract happen, even though it extends collective bargaining rights.

Comments

  1. Please stop taking extreme examples. 90 sick days is a freaking joke, ALL teachers I know would agree.

    Most districts alot 10-12 days per year in a setting that is full of germs unlike the private setting has ever seen: whooping cough, scarlet fever, strip throat, swine flu, mono….I think 10-12 days, which is what most districts allow, is reasonable.

    Please stop taking extreme examples to make a point.

    Dave

  2. Those examples are not extreme, dave, they are fact. Too bad, huh?

  3. Can you name 1, only 1, other school district that allots more than 15 sick days per year?

    Please name 1? Then I will shut up.

    Name 1:

  4. Still waiting……stop using extreme examples please……

  5. I don’t have to name even one more. One was all it took. WEAC brothers one and all. You’re in it up to your neck. You know it or you wouldn’t be freaking.

  6. I’m going to post everyday unitl you can cite 1 other school district that allots over 15 sick days per year.

    Still waiting………

    dave

  7. Well gosh, thanks. It’s nice to have the readership. Of course, it’s even nicer to have readers who aren’t embarrassing themselves, but hey. I’ll take what I can get. 🙂

  8. The Lorax says:

    I love how he gave you 3 minutes to acquiesce to his demands before he taunt-posted again. Class act, Dave!

  9. Randy in Richmond says:

    Dave
    I don’t know about the how many days involved with Wisconsin teacher’s sick leave but I do know, according to news reports, of the tens of thousands of fraudulent sick leave days that were taken recently by teachers who were in Madison. Which of the malady’s listed in your second paragraph of comment # 1 did most teachers use ?

    This is not an extreme example–it is a true example. You can’t unspin this because millions of people all across America witnessed it happening. Trust me, it did not help your or other state’s causes. The Oshkosh publicity is just more icing on the demise of the union’s sponge cake.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjFbMDp5Pg8

  10. The Lorax says:

    Well, Randy, I think you’re wrong on that. Public opinion is squarely on the side of the teachers on this issue, and people understand why there were sickouts.

  11. And I disagree that public opinion is on the side of the teachers.

  12. The Lorax says:

    Well then we disagree. Imagine that. But the 90 days seems weird. And probably too many sick days. Not like Oshkosh has great schools, anyways.

  13. Nately Scott says:

    Cindy,
    If you were hanging out with a teacher, you might be taught about a logical fallacy known as the hasty generalization. See, this flaw is based on the assumption that, as you put it, “One was all it took.” Similar assumptions show you just how naive this is: Let’s ban all guns because ONE criminal illegally used one. Let’s put this person in office because ONE person voted for him. All [insert racial descriptor] people are evil because ONE of them is a criminal. All 1 billion Muslims are terrorists because ONE of them is (just ask Congressman McCarthy, I mean King). All people who use ridiculous logical fallacies are morons because I once knew ONE like that.

  14. interesting says:

    Cindy: Please post the contract language. My guess is that most of the 90 days may be more geared toward disability than “regular” sick days. If my thoughts are incorrect then I think an immediate recall of the school Board in Oshkosh is in order. Afterall, it takes two sides to sign a contract. Let’s not put all the blame on the union…a lot of it would belong on the board for agreeing to it

  15. When I heard Belling or Sykes ranting about this ( sorry, their personalities co-mingle in my mind) I also wondered whether there was a disability component to the 90 days. IF that is so, the outrage is tainted and we are being manipulated by limited information. Having that many unchallenged sick days is beyond rational and if it is that straightforward ‘interesting’ is correct. The entire lot should be taken to task.

  16. Nately Scott, I agree that logical fallacy exists, but I disagree with your examples, or that this situation applies. You can bet that WEAC represents the teachers at Oshkosh. WEAC also represents the teachers in other parts of the state. The smaller set of WEAC members is the one to which we look here.

    To put your examples on parallel: Let’s ban gun possession for felons; lets hold Muslims responsible for not speaking out against those in their religion who support terror.

    Again I will explain: To an outsider it appears this is the culture that exists within WEAC. Having a group under their umbrella collectively bargain (collective bargain is the unspoken issue here, by the way) 90 sick or disability days was not unreasonable to them. Someone on the other side had to ratify this contract because of the collective bargaining privilege invoked. Perhaps another way of looking at it is that all teachers should have had 90 days, but only Oshkosh was able to achieve it. We don’t know for sure, do we?

    Beware the company you keep. Don’t want to be labeled a WEAC thug? Don’t let one of your group promote thuggery.

    ===

    Interesting and RL, I did say: “90 days each year protected with income for illness and disability,” but here it is:

    ARTICLE 20 – INCOME PROTECTION

    (A) All teachers shall be guaranteed ninety (90) teaching days of income protection for each teaching contract year in the event of absences due to sickness or disability. Such income protection shall be prorated for teachers teaching less than full time.

    (B) Absences of illness in the immediate family shall be covered by this provision, provided such absences are caused by critical illness, a sudden call for suspected critical condition, the necessity of taking a member of the family to the hospital, or the making of arrangements for care due to sudden illness, but shall not apply to cases where the employee’s presence is required as a nurse, or as a caretaker, or to provide for the operation of the family due to sickness or an accident in the family.

    (C) The Board reserves the right to send an employee to a physician at district expense for an examination when deemed necessary.

    Such teacher will submit to such examination unless refusal is based on bona fide religious convictions.

    (D) Teachers shall not continue to draw daily income protection benefits after they become eligible for benefits under the district’s Long Term Disability Plan, however, any unused days shall remain in the teacher’s personal account.

    (“Personal account” defined as being those unused income protection days remaining of the original ninety (90) days).

    Sickness OR disability with a right for the employer to verify illness. I think the statement they had 90 potential sick days is correct. I will modify my post to be OR instead of AND.

  17. Randy in Richmond says:

    Cindy
    You can also modify sickness to include conducting union business. This blantant abuse of a benefit is, to me, much more egregious than an ill-devised policy that all agree is absurd. In fact this action illustrates why in many states this type of activity is not allowed–because unions put their wants and desires first and to heck with the schools and the students. The teacher’s actions (calling in sick) in Madison contradicted their very charge and responsibilities.

  18. The Lorax says:

    Well I don’t have that much problem with that language. 3 months of disability seems reasonable.

  19. The Lorax says:

    And Randy, the teachers lost pay for days they called in sick. You are SO incredibly outraged all the time, sometimes I think maybe you need to check your blood pressure, dude!

    And kids losing out on 1 or 2 days pales in comparison to the draconian cuts coming to schools under Governor Walker.

  20. It’s OR Shawn. These statements are all correct under that language:

    One may have 90 days of sick leave.
    One may have 90 days of disability leave.
    One may have 90 days combined in sick leave and disability leave.

    They had 90 days of sick leave. Now they have 10 that can accumulate to 90. Much better.

  21. The Lorax says:

    Yeah, you can be sick with cancer and not be disabled.

  22. You are stubbornly dismissing the language of the contract. Doesn’t surprise me, mind you, but just know you’ve been called on it.

  23. Randy in Richmond says:

    Having opinions means I am ‘incredibly outraged ?‘ Lorax, if my opinions agreed with yours, would I still be outrageous ? 🙂

  24. The Lorax says:

    And yet my cancer point still stands.

  25. But it wasn’t really a point in the argument. In general, yes, one can be treated for cancer without being disabled. My father with chemotherapy treatments every three weeks and his chainsaw are proof. How that works into the fact that Oshkosh teachers have 90 days of income protection for either illness or disability or a combination of illness and disability is lost on me.

    You seem to feel better having made your point, so whatever.

  26. The Lorax says:

    It matters because they use that leave when they have an extended illness, such as cancer. I think having them as sick days also means they don’t have to find replacement substitute teachers.

  27. Right. The kids get to sit in class all by themselves for the day.

    Something tells me you aren’t making sense. Maybe you can try again? It sounds like you are actually trying to defend 90 sick days a year written into a contract for a group that only has an obligation to work approximately 10 months each year.

  28. BrkfldDad says:

    Lorax = Fail

    Read the language again. They can take off 90 days for the sniffles. Or they can get three paid days of sickness for false stress diagnosed by a ‘quack’ doctor. I challenge you to refute my intepretation. It might be only be exceeded it’s outrageousness by yours.

  29. The Lorax says:

    No, the difference being in many districts the teachers take time off they have to arrange for a sub, whereas if it’s sick leave they get the district to hire a sub. Varies by district, I suppose.

    But I mean, I agreed earlier that 90 seems like too much. I would have been satisfied if they clarified it to “long-term illness” or some such.

    The inherent flaw in your thinking is that I am defending the policy. I’m just sorta talking, can’t a guy do that?

  30. Sure, but you risk looking really goofy when certain things come out of your fingers.

  31. Don’t need to. The story was about Oshkosh’s 90 days. Still can’t come to terms with such egregious collective bargaining by WEAC members, eh?

  32. Unions are pure democracy in action. They won that negotiation. Why give up those hard-fought and earned rights?

    Just because Walker is a dictator doesn’t mean we need to chuck democracy out the window.

  33. And taking away those hard-fought and earned PRIVILEGES are yet another form of pure democracy in action.

    Walker isn’t a dictator. You, however, are very close to being labeled a sore loser. Elections have consequences, you see…

  34. We’ll see who is lafing in next January, when we recall Walkitler.

  35. That’s cool. I get to laugh from now until then and probably well after. You are absolutely going to land on your butt with that Walkitler dictator thing.

  36. Randy in Richmond says:

    Pure democracy in action. That’s when elected officials, at some level, are forced to negotiate their own employment conditions with the same people and organizations who vote for said officials.

    Let that go on for a number of years and the state and local governments will find themselves billions of dollars in debt. Also, citizens will be picking up the tab for all varieties of municipal employees benefits. You might even get some rogue locality allowing up to, say, 90 days of sick leave for employees who are under contract for about 10 months in a year.

    Fortunately, in my state, we define democracy differently.

  37. J. Strupp says:

    Godwin’s Law.

  38. Indeed, but only here do we see a liberal make the first firing.

    Dang.

  39. Dave, I’ll give you a setting where one is exposed to more germs than you. I’m a nurse in a pediatric clinic. I’m exposed to more germs year round than any teacher ever will be. Guess what? I get 5 sick days per year. I think I have taken one day in the last 5 years, my employer and the kids I care for need me to be there!

  40. My only point was that Oskosh is a totally extreme, and crazy, example, and shouldnt be used as the measuring stick to say, “SEE! SEE! Look at all the union and teacher abuse.”

    If I went to a Tea Party Rally, 99.9999999% of the people I’m betting are good/decent people. But what if I found the one moron spouting off about some crazy or racist idea and then held him up to say, “SEE! SEE! This is the Tea Party, what a bunch or racist hicks!”

    90 sick days to me is just about as intolerable as the second example, but worse is using it as the flag bearer or example for all union represented schools.

    Dave

  41. Oshkosh represents more than 0.0000001% of the districts in Wisconsin under WEAC. I still say WEAC is in part culpable for the egregious language.

  42. I really can’t believe the conservatives are being led around by their noses -AGAIN-!

    There are two distinct forms of paid time off available to the Oshkosh teachers (and many, MANY non-union employees) sick days and a form of short-term disability (STD) plan referenced in the Oshkosh teacher’s contract (yeah, the one that expired 18 months ago) as “Income Protection.”

    >> SICK LEAVE: Employees shall accrue 10 days of sick leave over the course of each school year. Sick leave shall accumulate at the rate of one (1) day per calendar month over the course of each school year. Accrued sick leave shall accumulate to 90 days for Employees with less than 20 years of service; to 120 days for Employees with 20 or more years of service.

    >> INCOME PROTECTION: All teachers shall be guaranteed ninety (90) teaching days of income protection for each teaching contract year in the event of absences due to sickness or disability.

    There is -nothing- outrageous about this; how many sick days does Corporate America offer their employees? I’ve had anywhere from 10-20 sick days per year as part of my corporate compensation packages, and most places have allowed me to roll ’em over to a maximum of XX days accumulated.

    And what about short-term disability? 90-days is a lil’ meager… much of Corporate America offers 26 weeks of income protection/short-term disability to their employees.

    Anyone can read the Oshkosh teacher’s contract that’s been in effect for the last four years right here: http://www.oshkosh.k12.wi.us/site_uploads/uploads/WandaManning/Master_Agreement_for_2007-2009.pdf.

    Oh, and Adam Rodewald of the Northwestern is quoted as saying: “-Teachers would no longer receive 90 sick days per year. Instead, they would receive 10 sick days per year that could accumulate up to 90 days. Unused days would not be paid back.” which has led some of the conservatives I know to believe teachers can “cash out” their 90-days annual short-term disability benefit.

    It’s not true. There is absolutely NO provision, stipulation or clause in the current Oshkosh teacher’s contract for cashing out any form of sick days or short-term disability days.

    I’m soooo tired of conservatives yelling their lies from the roof top, thinking that if they say it long & loud enough it’ll become “fact.”

    Just saying it don’t make it so.

  43. Randy in Richmond says:

    Griff
    You give the provision citing the 90 days sick leave and then say,” There is -nothing- outrageous about this“. Since you believe that there is really no discussion to have here. Your world is much different from many other Americans. It has been my impression that those on all sides commenting on this issue, with the exception of you, generally agree the 90 day policy was unreasonable–and in fact has been changed. Please provide a lie that has “been yelled from the rooftop” in this post.

  44. TX Griff. Wow. It scares me you might be a teacher. No wonder our kids are struggling with reality these days.

    True or false: Oshkosh educators had 90 days of protected income each year because of illness or disability in their current contract, but recently gave that up in exchange for the retainer of collective bargaining rights?

  45. GOPbreakinglaws says:

    The GOP doesn’t care if you have cancer. Suck it up. Die in the classroom if you have to. Why pay a sub if you can still walk? Jesus, when did the GOP go so LOW?????
    Jesus must be sickened by what he sees. Free will. More like a free ride to HELL.
    Enjoy your earthly pleasures GOP, cause in heaven, all the people you destroyed will be relieved that justice will be served in the end.