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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - Most idiotic school board decision EVER.
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The Thrill
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#1 Posted on 4.3.04 0502.44
Reposted on: 4.3.11 0503.48
You have got to be fucking kidding me.

Saw this on ABC's World News This Morning, and found it in the Detroit Free Press:

A Michigan schoolteacher who's also in the Michigan National Guard, has been activated for 2 weeks of duty in Italy...but during that time, he's being forced to reimburse the district for the costs of hiring a substitute teacher while he's gone, AND give the district part of his military pay!

And the school board is way arrogant about the whole thing: citing the fact that the teacher/soldier won't be too financially hurt by the whole thing, they're working on a new policy to cover teachers on military duty...to get 'em even worse. Superintendent Jim Gillette says, "In the future, he's not going to get out that well."

Uh, memo to Kenowa Hills Public Schools: in addition to all the bad P.R. you're about to get heaped on your hypocritical, penny-pinching, bass-ackwards organization...uh, it's called SHITTING ON SOLDIERS. Try not to do that.

Add these morons to my list of "People Who Need A Good Bitch-Slapping."
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StaggerLee
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#2 Posted on 4.3.04 0610.37
Reposted on: 4.3.11 0611.16
I believe there are federal laws that protect Gaurdsmen and reserve forces from this kind of shit. If not, then there should be!
Grimis
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#3 Posted on 4.3.04 1055.57
Reposted on: 4.3.11 1056.57
There are definately Guardsmen protections in place that prohibt employers from doing stupid shit like this.
vsp
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#4 Posted on 4.3.04 1140.28
Reposted on: 4.3.11 1140.57
I agree that the Guardsman is getting screwed here.

That said, strictly out of idle curiosity... Italy? I'm sure he's not complaining ("The bad news, soldier, is that we're sending you to active duty in a country beginning with 'I'. The good news..."), but why there in particular?

Grimis
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#5 Posted on 4.3.04 1317.03
Reposted on: 4.3.11 1319.00
    Originally posted by vsp
    That said, strictly out of idle curiosity... Italy? I'm sure he's not complaining ("The bad news, soldier, is that we're sending you to active duty in a country beginning with 'I'. The good news..."), but why there in particular?
Might be a replacement for a unit that was shipped to a more hostile environment.
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#6 Posted on 4.3.04 1345.07
Reposted on: 4.3.11 1345.25
    Originally posted by Grimis
      Originally posted by vsp
      That said, strictly out of idle curiosity... Italy? I'm sure he's not complaining ("The bad news, soldier, is that we're sending you to active duty in a country beginning with 'I'. The good news..."), but why there in particular?
    Might be a replacement for a unit that was shipped to a more hostile environment.


Where possible, I think they are using the Guard to replace units and individuals sent to places like Iraq, instead of sending the Guard to Iraq.
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#7 Posted on 4.3.04 1445.58
Reposted on: 4.3.11 1446.27
    Originally posted by vsp
    I agree that the Guardsman is getting screwed here.

    That said, strictly out of idle curiosity... Italy? I'm sure he's not complaining ("The bad news, soldier, is that we're sending you to active duty in a country beginning with 'I'. The good news..."), but why there in particular?




The mission of the 831st Munitions Support Squadron [831st MUNSS, formerly designated as the 31st Munitions Support Squadron, and prior to that, as the 616th Munitions Support Squadron] is to receive, store, maintain, and upon receipt of properly authenticated instructions, provide reliable weapons to the 154th and 102nd Fighter Bomber Squadrons of the 6o STORMO Italian Air Force. The Squadron directly supports their North Atlantic Treaty Organization responsibilities. The squadron is a tenant unit on the Italian Air Base at Ghedi, Italy; it's made up of six flights and totals about 135 assigned personnel.

The 31st Munitions Squadron is a 129-person, Geographically Separated Unit (GSU), assigned to the 31st Logistics Group, 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano AB, Italy. The 31st Munitions Squadron (31st MUNS) operates on a US Army installation, Camp Darby, Italy, located approximately 280 miles southwest of Aviano AB. It is responsible for USAFE’s largest and most dispersed conventional munitions stockpile, consisting of 21,000 short tons collocated in Italy, and two classified sites located in Israel valued at $493 million. It provides management and support for eight munitions custody accounts located in Italy, Spain, Greece and Bosnia. The 65-vehicle fleet valued at $4.1 million and 33-unit Aerospace Ground Equipment account, valued at $451,000, support maintenance taskings. Operating in a 2,200 acre Ammunition Storage Area (ASA), it provides a unique capability to globally distribute munitions using air, sea, over-the-road and rail transportation. It possesses 72 facilities ranging from administrative to earth-covered explosive sited magazines.
bash91
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#8 Posted on 6.3.04 1407.22
Reposted on: 6.3.11 1407.59
In a follow up to the original post, here's another article that puts things in a different light. Of course, it leaves open the question of why the superintendent and school board are incapable of writing an easily understood letter but that's a discussion for a different time.

Tim

http://www.mlive.com/ news/grpress/index.ssf?/ base/news-13/1078501899259770.xml

Kenowa says pay agreement benefited reservist


Friday, March 05, 2004

By Nardy Baeza Bickel
The Grand Rapids Press




KENOWA HILLS -- Earlier this week, Kenowa Hills Superintendent Jim Gillette endured criticism from teachers and students angry about what they believed to be a rotten deal between Gillette and a teacher called to serve with his Navy Reserve unit.


Try Our Classifieds




But their ire was nothing compared to the scores of threatening e-mails and furious calls Gillette has received from across the nation.

CNN, MSNBC, CBS Radio and "Good Morning America" all called to grill Gillette about why middle school science teacher Barry Bernhardt is being asked to pay for his own substitute teacher while serving a two-week stint in Italy. The superintendent has repeatedly explained -- using a complex formula -- that it's not the case.

Gillette's unexpected brush with the national spotlight has been far from welcome.

"It's not pleasant, particularly given some of the accusations: people saying things like, 'What a shameful decision.'... 'You're a real jerk,' or 'This is disgusting,'" Gillette said. "People claiming that we're not supportive of the military ... (that) if we don't like this country we should leave it.

"That's a few samples," Gillette said. "And I'm leaving out the ones with the bad words and threats."

At issue was the agreement Gillette struck with Bernhardt, in which the teacher agreed to give the district six days of substitute teacher costs and six days of military salary.

In return, the district would continue to pay him his regular salary -- more than 2 1/2 times higher than the military pay-- to ensure the teacher did not suffer a pay loss while serving his military duty.

Now teachers and administrators say a confusing letter explaining the deal, and the formula used to calculate the teacher's pay, were the perfect ingredients for stirring up controversy.

"The original letter led us to believe that there would be some substantial income loss," said teacher Ron La Fave, one of those who criticized the district during Monday's Board of Education meeting. "I think the bottom line is that we read it and reacted to it."

"Obviously, when (Gillette) showed us what was going to come out of it, it sounds very nice. I just want this to end in a happy way," he added.

Bernhardt is overseas and could not be reached for comment.

The issue erupted at Monday's meeting, when some teachers and the district's student representative condemned the deal reached by Gillette and the teacher. The district has no formal policy on compensation during military leaves.

In previous years, Bernhardt has fulfilled his Navy assignments while on vacation and only once, when he was assigned to Bosnia, did he reach a similar agreement with the district.

In a letter, Gillette detailed how Bernhardt is to take two personal and two comp days, and he is to repay the district for a substitute teacher. He also states the district will subtract from his paycheck six days worth of military pay.

Gary Aten, executive director for the Michigan Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, said the problem -- though merely semantics-- created the impression the district is not fulfilling its duty when, in reality, it is going above federal requirements that stipulate employers are to maintain reservists' jobs, but don't require them to pay anything while they're on leave.

"They're doing more than the minimum, and that's great," Aten said. "The bad news is (community members) are thinking the district is putting the screws on this teacher, and it's not."

Other districts, such as Grand Rapids, provide unpaid leave. Kentwood's policy is to make up for the difference in salary. Through the complicated formula Kenowa Hills used, Bernhardt will receive more money than he would have in the other districts.

But Bernhardt might not get such a sweet deal next time he's called to serve.

"The lesson I've learned is that we would be better off with a (policy) similar to jury duty," Gillette said. In that case, the district makes up for the salary difference. "Going above and beyond that is not going to be a good formula. It would be better for it to be simplified even if (in Bernhardt's case) he would be better compensated this way.

"It was done to help Mr. Bernhardt, not to hurt him," Gillette added. "I told him what we were going to do and he said he was appreciative of that. I assumed that he was truly pleased with that."

Asked why he didn't explain the plan's details to teachers after being criticized at the board meeting Monday, Gillette said he attempted to, and believed that explanation would be enough.

"I wasn't aware that people were going to react the way they did," he added. "If I would have thought there was such discontent, I would have gone through (the plan) in great detail. I had no remote idea that people were so upset."

Not helping the situation are the district's contentious contract negotiations.

"When you're in negotiations for eight months ... you start losing the trust level. I think that inadvertently, because of the negotiations, people tend to look at things more suspiciously," Gillette said.

La Fave agreed.

"I agree there's a lot of short fuses out there and that's one of the things that we have to start working on," he said.

"I just wanted to make the point that we care about Barry and we hope he's treated correctly. I didn't want to get in the national news," La Fave added. "I don't want people to call Mr. Gillette threatening him. (This) is something that shouldn't have happened."

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