An average of 75 Warwick school teachers PER DAY were out sick during the month of March. On some Fridays, the number of teachers out sick rose to 90.
There MUST be an incentive to not take time out of work and stop those that abuse the taxpayer funded system. On the City side of business, time out of work isn't even documented by some --but that's been another story.
The waste, fraud and abuse MUST END.
The argument by a few teachers is that if sick days are reduced to 18 days, it will cost the District more. This is simply not true. The current school budget covers for substitutes to come in for up to 7 days/yr that any of the 890 teachers are out sick.
A "top step" teacher with a 75K/yr salary (80% of teachers are top step) working 181 days, gets paid approx. $414/day. Last year, when a teacher called out sick, they paid back approx. $13/per sick day. This is based off of last year's calculations and each year this variable can change. So a teacher last year that was out sick was still paid $400 a day to be out sick.
Then there's "the formula" (pg.16) that comes into play to account for the cost of teacher substitution. Warwick schools currently budgets $500K just for substitute teachers. Subs are paid approx. $85/day. After 30 days, the sub also gets a bump in pay. Without getting too deep into the "formula" weeds, simply put, the "formula" (on pg 16 of the current teachers contract) is used to calculate the substitute teacher cost pool which amounts to approximately $500k per year. At that point, costs above that $500k are what the teachers reimburse back to the District which depends on how many subs come in per year.
Sometimes a sub is hard to find so a teacher gets paid to go cover another colleagues' class at roughly $40/period. Coverage costs can total up to another $200 /day, which is not reimbursed by the teachers.
Teachers also do not yet have the option to buy into TDI at a cost of $30.00 per paycheck, which has been discussed in the past. TDI would also pay a portion and it's state run and not taxed. WISE union employees have workers comp for work related injury coverage that is paid for by Blue Cross via a self administered fund. Another option on the negotiating table is for a "sick bank" that would allow -for example- each of the 890 teachers to contribute up to 2 sick days per year which would put 1800 sick days in the bank to cover long term illnesses/surgeries.
So accruing sick time over a period of years vs 90 sick days your first day of work, would help to prevent the potential abuse of sick time use, while the TDI or "sick bank" options would ensure coverage for legitimate, longer term time out of work.
I can still remember what it was like back in the day when my teacher was out sick... it was a downer. The entire morale of the class changed, we were not as focused, we goofed off more and didn't pay as much attention.
KIDS LEARN BETTER WHEN THE TEACHER IS IN!!
So the bottom line is, we have to have a change to deter bad behavior. This isn't just on the school side of business, it's also desperately needed on the City side of business. We have some teachers that are never out sick and others that are out way too often. Ninety sick days per year makes it too easy to be sick especially when just last month, an average of 75 teachers were sick on any given school day. Quite honestly, I think that's appalling and a disgrace and it isn't fair to the kids.
Lesson of the day: If you have less to use there's less to abuse.
In addition... teacher's healthcare costs increased 8% -- that's an added $1 million to the teachers upcoming FY 2017-2018 budget. Taxpayers will also be facing the increased healthcare costs on the City side of business.
The schools will be looking to the City for $4.7 million to balance their budget. Again, $1 million of that is just for increases in healthcare costs. The necessary school funding is unfortunately not going to happen as the City has gone bust.
In the meantime, City retirees and their spouse get the gold standard, 100% covered lifetime healthcare -- and costs for that coverage are increasing at an alarming rate every single year while Warwick taxpayers get choked for more and more.
Warwick Watch predicts at least another 3% TAX INCREASE that's coming the end of May.
This page will keep pummeling you with the facts so that you understand why you'll be getting tax raked again next month.
From December, 2016: Only on 10: "Substitute teaching costs RI $25 million annually"