The Glens Falls Post Star is calling on its editorial page for more openness during contract talks between school districts and unions.
One detail they note is that the Warrensburg district appears to be allowing teachers to accrue huge chunks of sick days, which can then be used to effectively retire early, while taxpayers continue to pay for a full-time teacher.
If you believe the devil is in the detail, here is one that stuck out to us. Warrensburg teachers have been able to roll over unused sick days with no limit so they could eventually be used as an early retirement at full pay.
Warrensburg’s school board wanted to cap the sick days at 235 days (more than a year’s worth of paid time and a pretty offer in our estimation). The union said changes to sick days and health insurance were “deal-breakers.”
Often it is benefits such as these we hear the most outrage over from taxpayers. We believe that teachers perform an immensely important role in our society and should be paid accordingly, but we’re not so sure they should be able to run up years worth of sick time. Sick time is supposed to be used when you are sick, not for when you retire.
So what do you think? This is the sort of thing that often makes private sector workers grumble. In the non-government world, sick days are sick days, not a vacation or retirement benefit.
What do you think? Should the same apply to teachers? Or should teachers who don’t get sick get to bank their days?