Monday, July 21, 2008

When Is a School Employee a County Employee?

Saturday night at the Sheriff's Department Community Appreciation Day a general county employee walked up to me and said, "Brian, why do school employees only want to be county employees when it is convenient?" Here is what this county employee means and it is a great question. One that I had not thought of until this individual brought it up.

Do you remember a few years ago, when the County Mayor proposed bringing the school employees over to the county's insurance program? A measure to reduce expenses and save the county taxpayers money. The school employees said "oh, no we are covered by the state insurance plan and can not come into the county's insurance." The teachers union had to vote and they voted to stay in the golden enclave of insurance plans. There are not enough non-certified school employees and the County Mayor felt it should be all school employees on insurance or none of them. So, the idea was dropped.

Now, all the county employees are getting a 2% pay raise and the school employees are saying that they are county employees and should get a pay raise. Several school boarders are bellyaching that it isn't right for county employees to get a pay raise while school employees do not. Several candidates for county commission are bellyaching that it isn't right for school employees to not get a pay raise while county employees get one.

I believe that school employees should get a pay raise. However, I believe that the school boarders should prioritize the pay raise in their budget (which is 60% of the total county budget) and locate the pay raise. I can suggest some budget cuts that will NOT impact current school employees or the school curriculum.

Because when is a county employee a school employee or a school employee a county employee? Only when it is convenient for the school boarders. All 9 of them. However, if it came to a vote, it would be a 5-4 vote. With 5 voting to do nothing and 4 voting to be responsible.

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