An Indescribable Loss

January 24, 2010

The Association mourns the loss of Mrs. Laura Lekan. She was an inspiration to her students and colleagues, in life and in her valient struggle against death. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her and by students who will never have the chance to know her.

I am deeply proud of our PEA members who contributed over 200 sick days to assist Laura in her final days. This is a testament to the caring and concern we have for each other (and for our students). We entered teaching because we wanted to make a difference, and this is more evidence that we have and continue to make huge differences in our world.

There was some confusion about donating sick days during the critical needs discussions. I agreed to post here an explanation of how members are paid for unused days when they retire.

The contract language states, “A teacher who qualifies under the State Retirement Act and has completed ten (10) or more years of service in the Parchment School District, will be paid for one-half (1/2) of all accumulated unused sick days up to a maximum of ninety-five (95) days at a rate of .0025 of the BA base per day if he/she terminates employment under any of the following circumstances: 1. Voluntary retirement under the provision of the State Retirement Act. 2. Disability retirement under the provisions of the State Retirement Act prior to regular retirement age.

Here are some examples:

Joe has accumulated 120 unused sick days. He can be paid for half of them — 60 days. This is multiplied by (base x .0025). [Current BA base is $33,434 x .0025 = $83.59 per day x 60 days = $5015.40]

Jane has accumulated 250 sick days. She can be paid for half — 125 — but the maximum days to receive pay is 95. So she will have 95 x¬†$83.59 = $7941.05.

Note that pay for unused sick days is only given for retirement. Resignation does not include unused sick day payments. Retiring PEA members must have worked in Parchment for ten or more years.