Distrct owes me about $400. Will I ever see it?

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by oldstudent, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Feb 10, 2011

    Today I got a requested e-mail from my sub coordinator about the correct pay rate for moderate to severe Special Ed assignments.
    I am not sure whether I should be happy or sad.

    Since the fall of 2009, I have subbed in an estimated 25-30 moderate to severe Special Ed classes. I am certain of the 17 I have taught since January 2010.

    These classes are supposed to pay $160/day, a $35 boost over the $125/day for regular classes and mild to moderate Special Ed classes.

    However, I have been receiving a 120% day instead, which totals $150 per day.
    Furthermore, there were four occasions last year where I received only $125 for a class that was mislabeled, for a total loss of $140.

    I e-mailed my sub coordinator to advise me about how to recoup my lost wages.

    About three months ago, I filled out a petition to Personnel about $108 dollars owed to me from last year. This is the amount that I knew for certain was owed to me.

    I have heard nothing yet.

    My guess is that I will never see the money because I have no union, or other form of representation to back me up.


    Anyone else care to guess about my odds of getting back these lost wages?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 10, 2011

    It's been over a year and a half since some of those jobs. I think that if you expect to get paid the correct amount, you have an obligation to verify in a timely manner that you're being paid correctly.

    If I hired someone to come and service my dishwasher and they told me that it would cost $100 but I later received a bill for $120, I'd call them up as soon as I got that bill and attempt to correct the problem. I wouldn't wait a year and a half before making that phone call.

    I'm not trying to be mean here. I just think that you need to be an advocate for yourself, and that means making these sorts of requests for correction in a reasonable time frame.
     
  4. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Feb 10, 2011

    If I had prior knowledge of these incorrect rates, I would have reacted immediately.
    These discepencies only came to light this year, so I sent in my petition immediately when becoming aware of them.
    It is the responsiblity of the district to give the classes the proper designation and the correct pay scale.
    One of the classes from which most of my money is owed is from a new special program that started last year.
    This class does not have a "moderate to severe" label, so I did not question it.
    It was only this year that I inquired about the pay rate merely on a whim, and then learned that it should be a higher rate.

    It is the district's job to let us know what each class pays. We should not have to investigate to learn the truth. We cannot assume that the school secretaries are paying us the wrong rate.
     
  5. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    Feb 10, 2011

    Wow, I've never heard of a district doing that-how confusing for payroll.

    When I subbed, I checked my pay stub every pay day against what I wrote in my datebook. You have to be proactive about it...at this point, if you get it great! If not-its not like you were expecting it anyway.
     
  6. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Feb 11, 2011

    Wow, what a mess! I wouldn't know who else you'd talk to at the district, except maybe the director of certificated personnel. I hope they get their butts in gear & straighten this out.
     
  7. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Feb 11, 2011

    Since you have no union, you have to be your own advocate. It sounds as if most of these were the result of oversights or mistakes by the school system (for having classes mislabeled) rather than a deliberate effort to cheat you out of money.

    Caesar has a good point about the request not being made in a timely manner and that may make a difference, but it won't hurt to try anyway. What you need to do is thoroughly document every assignment and hour you know for certain you worked. Have those assignments verified by the school(s) in question (they should have records of the days your worked) and present this to personnel.

    You've already filed a formal petition for wages you know you lost. That is a good start, but don't just sit back and wait for personnel to act on it. It's been 3 months, so YOU need to follow up. It's very possible the petition got set aside or overlooked. I'm certain personnel would also have to research the requested pay on the petition and verify you actually worked those hours. That could be another reason for the delay. If you do the research for them (getting the verification from the schools), it might speed things up.

    Follow the same process for any other money you feel the district owes you, including the incorrect wages for the mislabeled classes. I would think there is a good chance personnel would cut a check for the lump-sum owed once all the hours and incorrect wages have been verified. While it is a fairly significant amount to you, the total wages owed would be a mere drop in the bucket to the district. It would be far easier for them to just pay the difference owed than face a potential lawsuit or labor board violation.

    Last year, I got a call from our own personnel department to inform me two checks they had written for sub assignments more than 6 months previously had never been cashed. That was completely my fault. I'm sure I got the checks and just never took them to the bank. Even though they could have made a good case that they HAD met their obligation, they simply stopped payment on the lost checks and issued a new check covering the two previous ones.

    Generally speaking, personnel and the district are not out to screw you over, but they DO require documentation and verification of any hours or wages you may be owed. Once they get that, there is a good chance they will resolve the matter.
     
  8. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Feb 11, 2011

    Show proof and push the issue.
    Look up statute of limitations in your state and that will give you more insight as to how long you can still make this a case.
    You are not under a contract which means with teachers in their contracts sometimes it states a certain time limit in which one must address these mistakes otherwise it's a done deal but because you are a sub DON'T give up.
     
  9. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    Feb 11, 2011

    How busy does this district keep you? If you push and push and are annoying...they may not keep you as busy...that's my opinion.
     
  10. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Feb 11, 2011

    But if you did the work they HAVE to pay you. Worst case scenerio you could take them to small claims court.
     
  11. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Feb 12, 2011

    I appreciate comments prresented here.

    This is a fair district. I seriously doubt they are out to screw me.

    But with everything they have on their plate, straightening out my losses would not be a high priority.

    I also realized upon further evaluation that the losses were not as severe as I had thought.

    I had forgotten that we were paid at a higher rate last year. Our wages dropped $10/day due to budget constraints this year. Therefore, the 120% pay rate for these classes paid $162 last year, which is actually two dollars more than the $160/ day rate I learned about yesterday.
    This year the 120% rate comes to $150, so the $10/day losses did not begin until this year.

    I also believe that payroll is manipulating the units so each day in these special classes averages out to about $160.

    I just recieved my most recent check today, and for the 2nd time, I was overpaid $32 for a special class.

    Therefore, out of the 10 special day classes I have been paid for so far this year, two of them overpaid $32 for a total overpayment of $64. The other eight classes underpaid $10 each for a total underpayment of $80, so the net loss for this year is only $16.

    The larger loss is for the incorrect designation of the new program.

    On four occasions last year in 2010, I was paid $135 instead of $160, so my total losses were $100.

    All totaled, I am owed $116 going back to January 2010.

    I do not have a record of my classes from the fall of 2009, and do not recall how many times I was in this class, if at all.
    I requested payroll to provide me with my pay sheets for this period, and was told on the form it would take about six weeks to grant my request.

    It has now been about 12 weeks, and I have heard nothing.

    I therefore only sent in a petition to personnel for 2010 for an exact figure, but I have heard nothing yet.

    I now realize that I should have petitioned for an even $100 instead of $108.

    It is all quite confusing.
     

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