No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Only in government, MPS edition

by @ 12:26 on July 28, 2010. Filed under Education, Politics - Wisconsin.

(H/T – Charlie Sykes)

Milwaukee Magazine‘s NewsBuzz reports on an employment situation that can only happen in government. First, the setup: Milwaukee Public Schools has, for the past several years, scheduled an in-school school-day district-wide taking of the ACT college admission examination in order to facilitate the participation of every high school junior. For this coming school year, they scheduled it for Wednesday, April 27, 2011.

Somebody in the district offices forgot to tell those who negotiated the 2010-2011 school calendar with the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association that 4/27/2011 is the Wednesday after Easter. The tentative agreement, reached in early June, had spring break at its traditional Good Friday-through-Friday after Easter slot.

The MPS board caught this potential problem at the June 24 meeting, during which the final ratification of the school calendar was supposed to take place. Rather than attempting to reschedule the date of the ACT test, asking high-school juniors who want to take the test come in during spring break, or asking those juniors to take the test on one of the several Saturdays and at one of the several locations (some of which are MPS facilities) suburban and private-school students take the test, they told the negotiators to move spring break to accomodate the 4/27 ACT test date, and decided to hold off on agreeing to the school calendar until that was done.

On July 9, MPS and MTEA reached a pair of agreements regarding spring break. First, they agreed to move spring break to the week before Easter plus the Monday following Easter. That in itself is not at all controversial – it is the same number of weekdays, and it encompasses Easter.

However, the second part is something only a union would demand and only a government entity would grant – a chance, at the board’s discretion, of reimbursement for any and all expenses on an altered or cancelled vacation during the week after Easter that are non-refundable, non-reimbursable, or penalties generated by an alteration or cancellation.

Yes, you read that right – MPS will in all likelyhood pay for the assumptions made by employees based on an unofficial and never-ratified schedule. In the private sector, especially in a non-union shop, the employer would have told the employees, in so many words, “Tough luck.” In fact, that same sentiment would have been given had the vacation been forced to be altered or cancelled at the last minute.

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