Friday, July 16, 2010

Decatur Administrators Severance Packages Really Sweet

The severance packages given to 5 retiring Administrators are really sweet deals. Right after the MSD Decatur Township School Board approved the retirements of Gary Pellico (Director of Communications), Dave Rather (Director of Construction/Safety), Candace Milhon-Baer (Director of Instruction), Pat Jones (Senior Director of Student Services) and Janet Larch (Elementary Principal), I requested the retirement packages provided to each of them, as well as that of Jeff Baer (Director of Business/Operations), whose retirement had been approved some months back. The request was made on June 9, 2010. On July 9 I received a table with some specifics of the deals outlined, which I have reproduced below. Missing was any information about health insurance benefits. After inquiring after those figures, Gary Pellico responded with "add approximately $100,000 to the Total Severance Cost". I have asked for more specificity with these retirement packages, which I will note below.

There was no severance package given to Milhon-Baer - the table only noted 'not eligible'. The rest are:

Service Years$3,400.00$3,800.00$3,800.00$4,000.00
Leave Days$10,005.00$19,749.00$16,704.00$14,210.00
30% base$43,940.83$39,054.00$43,940.83$42,007.44$20,000.00
Teacher Retirement Fund$87,952.96$73,990.38$82,997.68$76,814.23$80,895.36

I assume that the entry for 'Teacher Retirement Fund' is for money sent to the that Indiana State fund in order to 'purchase more years' so as to increase the pension payout to each retiree. I have asked for more specificity in this item, like how many years were purchased for each person. The regular teacher contract, which is the only contract component for these administrators that even addresses contributions to the ISTRF, mentions a 3% of salary payment each year that will be covered by the District. At that rate, these contributions would be for the purchase of 20 years or more - so this definitely needs clarification.

I also asked for the number of service years, leave days, and vacation days involved with each administrator at at what rate they were compensated.

On the topic of health insurance, I requested the exact cost of this year's premium, and for how many years each retiree would be receiving free health insurance.

And last but not least, I requested information regarding what board policy or action granted these retirement benefits, as I could not locate them in either the teacher contract or the administrator contract addendum.

That was last Friday, and so far, no additional information has been provided to me.

In contrast to the sweet deal retiring administrators got, the District website says :

An early incentive for retirement program has been approved for Decatur teachers who qualify. Teachers who are eligible and choose to retire and who are on the district's insurance plan will receive a one-time bonus of $15,000 contribution to their retirement plans. Those not on insurance would receive a one-time $20,000 contribution. Also included in the incentive is extension of their health insurance for a year.

The board also approved a proposal for retiring bus drivers to remain on the district's insurance plan for one year after retirement.

I believe these contributions would be sufficient to allow the retiring teacher to purchase the cost of one year's health insurance under the District's plan. Those of you closer to that situation, please let me know if I misunderstand this 'contribution to their retirement plans'. The bus driver who retires gets to pay full boat for the insurance, just like those who did not retire and as required by Federal COBRA laws anyway.

More on all of this later.

[edited to add: an IBJ report from April 21, 2010, says the ISTRP contributions are 3% from the employee, which is picked up by the District here, and 7% from the school district. So these TRF contributions would cover 6-8 years, roughly]


Anonymous said...

DAMN !!!! teachers really got scre***...frozen salary for the next 4 years and thus retirement benefits are "frozen" at current salary. Also, the match for savings has been decreased. The $15,000. went into the health care account, thus retiree must incure a health care issue then ask for reimbusement. How dare this admin tell teachers..."there is no money"

Anonymous said...

How many of those "Administrative Retirees" will still be on the payroll in August???? Pellico is still sending our e-mails, so he must be? Rather is supposedly running the athletic department? We still have some desegregation will Pat Jones also be back?

The district is saving thousands...and doing so much more with less....SURE!?!?!?

Had Enough Indy? said...

Jones and Pellico work until August 31st.

Anonymous said...

How much will Rather be paid as an Athletic Director consultant this year?

Pat, do you have any info on what admins in other districts have been paid to retire early? Are these packages out of the ordinary? I simply cannot believe that public education officials got this kind of early retirement package that you don't even see in the professional business setting. The news should do a story on this, if in fact it is not the status quo.

BTW, how old is Pellico? He doesn't seem old enough to actually retire, but perhaps he just looks darn good for his age.

Thanks for getting the data out, Pat.

Anonymous said...

Ooooooh! I wish I knew when the next school board meeting was! They are so sneaky they meet whenever they want! I would go and get more involved if I knew when they had their meetings!

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 2:49 - Gary Pellico is reporting that there will be no contracts for the retiring administrators. I am just reporting what he is saying.

You might want to read the next post that talks about these retirement packages some more.

Anonymous said...

If Rather is going to be a consultant, wouldn't this have to be governed by a contract?

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 9:24 - if the heat was too much to get things inked down in contracts, they could work under a verbal agreement and submit bills. If the School Board cared about this, they could flag payment every time they saw the 'retired' employee's name attached to a bill. I'm not sure that this Board cares about what is really happening. If Stinson says 'jump', they say 'how high?'. Bottom line, my guess is that there are ways around formal contracts - which may not please the retirees. Of course, there is the chance that they are not returning at all. If Rather were to 'consult' on athletics as is rumored, then he would be highly visible. So, we shall see what we shall see.

Anonymous said...


Please don't forget to check out the new contract that Susan "Honey" Adams got now that she's been promoted to assistant superintendent. You know that Baer and Stinson took good care of her. She's their Sweetheart of Sigma Chi.

Anonymous said...

Dave Rather returning as a consultant in the athletic dept. is not a rumor. I have been in attendance at meetings where he, himself, confirmed it. Apparently there is some sort of rule that prohibits him from being an employee one day and a consultant the next. He has to take a little time off between jobs. I don't know if that means a week or a month but he will be on the job in his new position by the time school starts.

Yoda said...

He has to be out at least a month.

Anonymous said...

So the Rather rumor is he is "working" for SCS for a month, and then returning to athletics???

Don't be surprised by anything....

Anonymous said...

It's amazing that these administrators can collect up to 10years of health insurance but when one mere employee was let go, a one month insurance extension was not granted so that radiation could be completed. These people have no regard for anyone but themselves!

Anonymous said...

A review of the Indiana Department of Education website under "licensing" states that that as of 2009 (so add one year for 2010) the following experience is credited: Patricia Jones - 28 years; Jeff Baer - 33 years; Jack D. Rather - 378 years; Gary Pellico - 38 years. The retirement packages were to be $100/year for each year of experience. So-o-o, why did Jones get $4000 in stead of $2800? Why did Jeff Baer get $3400 instead of $3300? Maybe just $1300 (a good sum of money that could be used to purchase learning materials for children) BUT makes one wonder what are the other "errors." ?????? What are the "consultant" figures for these fine folks??????? Jones and Pellico still go to work - why are they not on vacation NOW?????? Pellico should be able to answer the last question without any time for research??

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 12:21 - you bring up some excellent points.

But, for clarification, Jones and Pellico do not retire until August 31. And, I assume the 378 years for Rather is a typo.

I have to ask: forgetting board policy that bans retirement money for years of service, why should Decatur ever pay for experience / service in other districts prior to experience / service in Decatur?