Head is Spinning!

Discussion in 'Private School Teachers' started by Mommyserenity, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    Nov 9, 2011

    We had a workday yesterday and got hit with a bombshell. :eek: We have lost quite a few kids this year due to a new charter school that opened. Last we were told, all was okay but budgets would just be really tight. Well....yesterday we got told in staff mtg in a very "oh by the way" demeanor that effective immediately we would all have a pay cut. On top of that, there is not enough money to pay us for all of a month in the spring so we will be expected to just work anyway and not get paid for half of that month. And the kicker....we are salaried over a 12 month period so we get paid in summer too. We were told that there would be no money to pay us over summer and that we'd just have to do without. From the tiny info w could get, money that has been coming out of our checks so far that was to go to cover summer months has been used to cover monthly losses for operating costs. :dizzy: We are all very angry. We also got told that we are to not let on to parents that there are any financial issues going on.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 9, 2011

    Do you have a contract?
    There's NO WAY I'd work without pay for a month...start sending resumes out NOW.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 9, 2011

    Agreed.

    I do volunteer work for free. The difference is that I set the terms under which I'll volunteer.
     
  5. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    Nov 9, 2011

    Oh boy.
    That's not good. We have the option to get paid on a 10 month, or 12 month, and most choose 12 month so that we could have income in the summer. Are they making those summer checks out to be a bonus?? Because it's not. That money is YOURS. Your checks throughout the year are smaller because you get checks in the summer. "Just do without" is NOT an option. I'd be furious. Look at your contract if you have one.

    On a side note, do you have an option to switch to a 10 month pay schedule?
     
  6. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    Nov 9, 2011

    No contracts since our school is private and Ga is at at will state. Bigger schools issue them, but not ours. We are tiny....only 8 teachers full time and 70 kids total. :( A spouse of another teacher cornered the principal this afternoon and demanded to know where the money is. Bottom line...."our" money has been used up on general operating fund and we won't be getting it back. Period! The only way we will see more money is if 14 kids enroll before May for this school year. Not gonna happen! :( He also was told that our paychecks from here on out will not be for full amounts (as in including the pay that would have been pulled for summer) because they can't afford it. All in all, we are losing five full paychecks for the rest of this year, plus on top of that another 2% cut in pay and will be asked to work for free for half of March.

    As bad as I would feel for jumping ship mid year, I may have to do it if I can find something. Honestly, I could make more subbing in my county. our county teachers get to call their own subs and I am on very good terms with many teachers at one school in particular so I might could get my name out there enough to get many calls.

    It just all breaks my heart. I feel used really. :confused:
     
  7. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Nov 9, 2011

    It's that stealing??? Someone took your salary and used it for something else?? That really sounds like stealing to me. Is it worth it to you and the rest of the staff to consult with a lawyer??
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 9, 2011

    Forget telling the parents...alert the media.
     
  9. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Nov 9, 2011

    Ditto. Don't allow them to take advantage of you!
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 9, 2011

    I definitely agree with this. I also think that you should contact your state board of education and law enforcement.
     
  11. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    Nov 9, 2011

    czacza.....that crossed my mind! Something very similar happened last year to another school three times the size of ours. Basically, they put out millions to build glorious buildings and then had no money. The lied to parents about where tuition money was going and teachers didn't get the pay they deserved. Within 6 months, the doors were closed because parents felt betrayed and pulled their kids.I don't understand hiding this from parents. We have some parents who could financially make some nice sized donations. I would think that if they were told that their child's teacher could not be paid properly, they would step up to help for the sake of their child. But...we've been asked to hide it all and put on our game faces.


    INteacher....I called my best friend, who handles legal issues like this for her company and she did say asking us to work for no pay is illegal and not giving us all owed to us is also. We'd have to sue though to get it back and if the school doesn't have it then what exactly do we get out of it ya know?


    I also don't understand why the "extras" have not been cut...like the art and music positions that we honestly could survive without. We operated for years without a secretary...why do we still have one if he can't even pay us? Why.....to keep up appearances from what we are told!


    It just breaks my heart to look at my kids and know I likely will not be with them much longer this year. :( I have never been one to walk out on something, but I just can't see any other way. I have been sending out resumes like crazy. I'm just really angry!!
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 9, 2011

    It's up to the school to figure out how to pay you. I'd be very curious to find out whether the admins at your school are also intending to work without pay.

    Misappropriation of funds is a violation of the school's obligation to its employees and its students. It's also illegal. You need to contact a lawyer, law enforcement, and your state board of education immediately.
     
  13. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Nov 9, 2011

    I'm so sorry that you're dealing with this. I do agree with the others to contact a lawyer and the media. I'd also quit, but that's just me. They'd be in a whole new world of hurt if all their teachers quit on them...
     
  14. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    Nov 9, 2011

    Ceasar753....there is only one admin at our school and he claims this is affecting him too. It won't matter to call the state board, as we are not fully accredited anyway (we're in process with ACSI) by the state. They pretty much don't care what we do since we're private and so small. Sad, but true.

    mmswm....I am trying to work out getting on as a sub with our county. if that happens, I will quit by the holiday break. Sadly, as upset as the others are, I don't see any of the others quitting until May. I think I'm alone in this one.

    I just never imagined this school would treat us like this....ever!

    Today we all walked in and sat down for morning meeting and it was like nothing ever happened. It was surreal....the admin acted as if yesterday never occurred. it was silent around the table though....no one said a word.
     
  15. sizzla_222

    sizzla_222 Companion

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    Dec 7, 2011

    this doesn't seem right at all. i feel very bad for u
     
  16. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    Dec 7, 2011

    This thread makes me angry! Fires need to be lit under some rear ends for this it's NOT right!
     
  17. ciounoi

    ciounoi Cohort

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    Dec 7, 2011

    Wow, this is ridiculous! Good luck serenity, please do consider legal action!
     
  18. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    Dec 14, 2011

    Thanks! :) Not much to report in the way of any news really . We do have 8 new students starting in January, but the P still claims budgets are too tight to give us our money we are owed. :dizzy: I will NOT be returning to work there in the fall, as is the case of the PreK, K, and 3rd/4th grade teacher as well. The tension every day at work is almost unbearable....we ask questions about the budget and it just gets danced around or ignored. We plan to all gang up at the Jan staff meeting (in-service day) about what the plan is about asking us to work in March without pay. I will NOT be working for free. I'll stay home without pay before I volunteer my time. At this point, the P is taking any kid who walks through our doors and this is making life hard on teachers since we are getting kids who are way behind and need resources we can't offer due to our size, budget cuts etc...Pretty much the P is putting up a facade that our school is equipped to handle all these students with LD's, or behavior issues and we just aren't. It just all stinks and my stress level stays at a constant level that makes me dread going to work most days. :(

    Rumor is one of our teachers has threatened to sue. I got some legal advice and have been advised to make a call to Dept of Labor about violation of wages, etc...They must investigate all payrolls for the past two years and if they find money is owed then anyone who was on payroll in those two years must be paid what they are owed.We plan to all gang up at the Jan staff meeting (in-service day) about what the plan is about asking us to work in March without pay. I will NOT be working for free. I'll stay home without pay before I volunteer my time.
     
  19. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Dec 14, 2011

    Wow! I'm sorry you're having to go through this. It's just not right that they would not pay you, and I agree that I'd stay home and not work before I volunteered my time.

    Something's fishy here.....
     
  20. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Dec 16, 2011

    This is what you need to do. They can't just not pay you! Several schools here tried this and wound up closing. The teachers never got their pay. Please get some legal help. Ganging up on the administration in January may be too late.

    If you don't have a contract, you must have some statement of what they promised to pay you. That would and your pay stubs would be enough to prove what is going on.
     
  21. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    Jan 7, 2012

    This will get very interesting on Monday when one of our teachers resigns to take a new position. She is thinking of calling in the DOL and reporting wage violations. Be interesting to see if the P tries to hire someone, since we have no money, or if he tries to maneuver people around to cover this combined grades classroom. Parents are def beginning to catch on little by little that everything isn't as rosy as its being made out to be. The P keeps calling people in randomly asking if there is a "plot" against him. It's quite ridiculous!

    I am looking daily for a new position. The stress is overwhelming and I am having weekly migraines at this point. I got new kids at the last minute after break...all with special needs....and we have no resources given to us to work with them. We're just told to "make it work". Basically, any child who walks in the door is being enrolled now and parents are noticing.

    What a nightmare!
     
  22. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jan 7, 2012

    That doesn't seem legal that they can take out your money and then use it for something else. I agree that you need to look for a new job (hey, does that new charter school need more teachers?).
     
  23. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    Jan 7, 2012

    I am quite sure it isn't legal!

    I have several friends affiliated with the new charter and they have actually laid off some teachers since fall. We hear they did get funding for the coming year, but so far they are not hiring any new people.
     
  24. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Why haven't you gone to the DOL and filed a report yourself?
     
  25. Mommyserenity

    Mommyserenity Devotee

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    Jan 8, 2012

    I sought some legal advice and was told to get a new job BEFORE I file a report. Even if you file an anonymous report, DOL usually will fess up and tell who made the report. As much as I'd love to file a report tomorrow, I need my job's income until I can find a new one. Also, the P knows quite a few other P's in the area and I don't not put it past him to try to blacklist me with others if I made a report before finding a new job. With the DOL, you do have up to two years to file a report for wage violation after you leave. My plan is as soon as I find a new job to file a violation with DOL and then let them take it from there. Of course, with the teacher resigning tomorrow I may not have to make one as she may file one before I end up needing to. Once one report has been made, all staff payrolls will be pulled and anyone owed money will be paid based off of that one report since they will investigate on behalf of all personnel.
     
  26. jlj

    jlj Devotee

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    Jan 29, 2012

    Answering some of these questions may help us give more direction, insight, advice.... Is this is a privately owned school operating as a private school (parents pay tuition) or as a charter school receiving gov. funding or faith based within a church (parents paying tuition)? Is there a school board? Under the public school board or do they have their own, and who serves on that board; how are they selected? Being a private school, are they incorporated? If so, there should be a Board of Directors. If privately owned, is the P the owner; and if not is the owner actively involved in operations & really aware of what's going on (or out of the area & not aware)? Who sets the budget each year? You mentioned a secretary; does she or the P handle the financial records & decisions?
     

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