Docked Pay for Family Vacation

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Batman15, Dec 7, 2021.

  1. Batman15

    Batman15 Rookie

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    Dec 7, 2021

    Long story short, I told admin at the first PD day back from break that I was going on a week long family vacation in October. I was assured that it was ok that I could take the vacation as this had been the past practice of the school. Weeks go by and I hear that admin will now all of sudden be enforcing the contract and that if we are out more than three days that pay will be docked. I say, well I thought we had it cleared up and the response I get is basically a sorry we will now be enforcing the contract. Meanwhile another teacher goes to Ryder Cup and is out for an entire week. This teacher’s pay was not affected. So I think oh guess we are back to following past practices. I go on family vacation and return to school. Upon my return to school, I show my students some pictures of the vacay and another teacher storms into my room and tells me and all the students to “Shut the F Up!” I go to the principal and am told that she will handle it and that he’s just a passionate teacher. I go ok wow probably just resentful that I was out for over week cause he mentioned that when I talked to him. Then last week comes around and my paycheck is nearly $700 short. I go right down and say what’s this and the principal says, “I have been called to task and need to enforce the contract.” That’s fine that she is enforcing the contract but she did not enforce it for the other teacher. Kind of just leaves me feeling perplexed and a little sad right before the holidays. I am meeting with her and union rep in two days. Just wondering if I actually have a case here..:.
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Dec 7, 2021

    Was your assurance given verbally or by email? That might make a huge amount of difference. As they say on People's Court, "Say it, forget it; write it, regret it."
     
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  4. whizkid

    whizkid Connoisseur

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    Wow.
     
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  5. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Dec 7, 2021

    I don’t think you have much of a case, unfortunately. The principal told you before your vacation that she had to enforce the contract which would mean docked pay.
     
  6. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Dec 8, 2021

    Sorry, but your principal does not have the power to ignore the contract. That would be an unfair labor practice. Also, the Treasurer’s Office would be negligent in paying you, based on what the contract dictates. In my district, the Treasurer would also have to recoup the amount paid to the other teacher.
     
  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Dec 8, 2021

    It's too late now but I would have getting the "ok" in writing before going on a vacation. Did you have the personal time hours to cover it? Were you going to use your sick time? We only get 3 personal days so I would never have been able to take off a week without taking a couple of no pay days.
     
  8. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Dec 8, 2021

    in my district, using sick time for vacation is a firable offense, and it has happened.
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Dec 8, 2021

    I’m surprised that it is ever okay. Here beyond three personal days, any personal absences are deducted.
     
  10. whizkid

    whizkid Connoisseur

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    Dec 8, 2021

    Lol, that's a standard practice here.
     
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Dec 9, 2021

    I have only seen one person do this at my school but it had to be approved ahead of time. This person was going out of the country. We don't get the whole summer off so it's not like her vacation could have been taken then.
     
  12. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Dec 9, 2021

    Yeah, I don't think most people would do this but the OP sounded like he had tons of time to use up. The only thing I could think of was sick time since that adds up more quickly than personal time.
     
  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Dec 9, 2021

    I witnessed something similar several years ago. The teacher thought that getting a verbal OK to go on vacation when it was not a scheduled school break was going to be an easy thing to get approved. The principal informed the teacher that it violated the contract, and that without extenuating circumstances AND approval from the superintendent, there would be no pay for the time missed, and that there was a good chance that it would result in a letter of reprimand going in the permanent file. The teacher thought that using sick days would be the way to work around the situation, so went on the vacation, even though pretty much everyone knew the teacher was neither sick nor excused. Quick forward to the teacher's return to find no wages paid for the time missed, the letter of reprimand added to the permanent file, and the school posting his job, looking for a new teacher.

    The teacher's union reluctantly attempted to appeal the school's stance, and eventually the teacher ended up hiring a lawyer at his own expense, who took the case to court. Everything dragged on for what seemed longer than it probably was; there was a hefty bill that had to be paid by the teacher in question just for the lawyer's fees, and although the district eventually accepted the tenured teacher's apology, along with a fine, it was an interesting example of how not believing what the contract and admin said was exactly what the district and admin meant. The lesson came with a steep financial learning curve. Bottom line and my take away was that if the contract said that time away from the classroom in the middle of the school year was not acceptable and would be without pay, well, pretty much it meant that there was probably not a great reason to vacation "for over a week" with the family at a time when both the teacher in question and any school age children involved should be at school, not on vacation. It made an impression on me, and a lot of other teachers, I'm sure, but I have to say that, as a parent, I would be hard pressed to think that taking my child out of school to vacation during the school year would be a good idea. Not sure that sharing pictures of the vacation with the students was a great idea - it might encourage others to show disregard for the school schedule. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but in classes when school is in session just makes sense to me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2021
  14. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Dec 17, 2021

    I remember when I was in middle school we had 2 teachers get married to each other and took the week after spring break off. I'm wondering if they had permission or just suffered the consequences. Both kept their jobs. Or maybe back then they were more lenient.
     
  15. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I'm thinking that the school was more lenient of a merging of two households into one than take the whole family out of school/work for over a week. After all, those two are probably (hopefully) still counting anniversaries, which is more than most family vacations can claim.
     
  16. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    Dec 18, 2021

    Next time he asks you to do anything past contract hours, fill in for someone during your prep, or stay late for a meeting tell him you are abiding by the contract!
     
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  17. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Probably. It was a surprise though to the students when they came back and the wife had a new name LOL
     
  18. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Jan 19, 2022

    I planned my spring break trip back in October. I had it planned so that I could leave for the airport after school. Last week my airline texted me to say they had changed the flight to much earlier in the day. I had to go to my principal and tell her what happened. I now have to take a sick day because we can not use personal days the day before or the day after a break.
     

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