This past week the school board voted to give the board office personnel a 30-hour work week during the summer instead of the contracted 40-hour week with a one-hour lunch, all with full pay. I was the only one to vote against the interim superintendent's recommendation to change the contract. I voted against it because there is no provision for a summer 30-hour work week in our signed contract with the board of education office staff. It will cost the district approximately $19,000 for this extra paid vacation time. At the same time, we are asking parents to cough up a $75 student activity fee.To pay for this?
When questioned about these "revised" contract hours, the interim superintendent responded by attacking the custodial staff who have a different contract. Custodians leave one hour early on Fridays in the summer because that is in their contract. Petrelli now says that "the custodial staff owes us a lot of money" because of coffee breaks. The custodians take coffee breaks that have been authorized by previous superintendents. Since Petrelli could not justify giving office personnel extra paid vacation over the summer that is not part of their contract, he is going after the custodians' coffee breaks this year. You can't make this stuff up.
Central office staff must work the hours called for in their contract. Thats what we pay for with our taxes. They are required to work a 40-hour week with an hour off for lunch. They will now be working only 30 hours a week. The board has no authority to unilaterally revise a signed contract in order to give away one additional week of paid vacation to the central office staff. It is just wrong.
Jim Foody Hewitt These are my views and not those of the West Milford Board of Education