Teachers union ratifies contract with Hays USD 489

Hays USD 489 and its teachers union have reached a tentative deal on a new one-year contract.

The contract includes a salary freeze for teachers, but does not include language regarding due process. State-mandated due process, otherwise known as tenure, was stripped from state law as part of this spring’s school funding compromise.

Members of Hays-NEA overwhelmingly ratified the contract by a vote of 156 to 37, with one abstention.

The contract will be forwarded to the Hays USD 489 Board of Education to be finalized Monday.

  • Uncle Buckshot

    How are due process and tenure one in the same?
    Read the bill as teachers due process rights are still intact…

    • Teacher

      The changes in the bill redefined who us covered under the Due Process law. It still exists, but not for k-12 teachers. They were removed.

      • Uncle Buckshot

        Can you provide a link for that wording please?

  • Jim

    They are intact as long as the local school district provides for it in the negotiated agreement. Otherwise, the state no longer ensures due process at their level.

    • Thanks

      And our inept board wants to also remove due process and as you’ll see in the article above, also freeze teachers wages, and to not pay teachers for paid sick days that they don’t actually use. I’d like to personally thank the BOE though for helping to keep enrollment at an all time super high dollar amount. Although I had other plans for the money in my bank account, I know longer need to worry about what food to buy or which clothing size might fit since I’ve done spent it at the school. I’m sure the 16 teachers fired are also appreciative, so look for their thank you’s in the mail. I do feel a sense of relief though that you have a great football coach hired to win those games, you have that soccer field sodded twice now, and also that any sport one chooses to go out for is free, free, free. It’s great too that we can rent the FHSU fields for our games, have 7th grade sports added in because we all truly missed 7th grade sports prior to 2013, and that we were fortunate in not having to let any coaches, assistant coaches, or team helpers go. They are also happy that their coaching pay was not diminished or frozen. Perhaps as time goes on, we can get them some benefits added in for all they do.

      • eightball

        here’s how you solve a board you don’t agree with. don’t vote for them again. that’s what i will do. i will not vote for an incumbent that wants to run again. looking for new faces and new ideas.

        • Lady Kay

          That is always a good plan. Get rid of the current board. Bring in a bunch of new people that have no idea what is going on or how the problems evolved to get the board to its current state. The new board members will fall into line like they did in the past and we can head on back to the good ole boys days. Changing everyone all the time is not always the way to go. However it is your vote, so you can use it or abuse it in any way you like.

          • chompers

            bring in a bunch of new people that have no idea what is going on…???? what have you got to lose. our current board doesn’t even know what’s going on. they are throwing darts into the air hoping some of them hit their targets. i, for one, think schwartz has been in there long enough. i won’t vote for him anymore.

      • Hays Citizen

        I actually would like to thank the board for everything you mentioned in your post—MINUS THE SARCASM.
        People like you have made athletics a dirty word in this community and I for one am sick of all the whining about sports and everything associated with it. All of you “sports bashing” people need to find something else to complain about. When it comes to sports things will never change and I for one am glad for that. I think the new football coach is a great guy and will do very well in Hays and I only hope he doesn’t read all this garbage on this board. As for the BOE, they are in a “no win” situation and I applaud them for what they are trying to accomplish. I understand things are bad and they are doing the best they can. If you don’t like it then run for the board and see if you can do better.
        So, bottom line sports are not going anywhere. They will spend as much as they have always spent and if you don’t like it then man up and attend a board meeting and voice your concern instead of hiding behind a keyboard and talking all tough.

        • citizen

          I totally agree with what you are saying. If these people putting down the BOE can do so much better, Run For Office. I think they are doing the best they can with the hand they have been dealt.

        • Time for change

          I’m going to post my opinion too. When you say something so arrogant as ‘bottom line sports are not going anywhere. They will spend as much as they have always spent’, that makes me even more determined to rein in the non essential spending. The taxpayers are tired of it. Let’s take care of education and start letting sports be self funded.

          • Cast your vote.

            Please change your statement so that you aren’t misrepresenting others. It should read “Some of the taxpayers are tired of it.” You can’t speak for all of the taxpayers because I’m one and I’m not tired of it. Thank you for your time.

          • Taxpayer

            I’ll change it for him. ‘All the taxpayers except for you are tired of it’. I’d just love to see a list of property taxpayers that would say they are happy to pay in money that will go directly to USD 489 sports’. Now if that one word is changed to education, then sure, but not when it’s sports.

          • Cast your vote.

            I’m sure you would be appalled at that result. I welcome the list as well as the result will not be what you are claiming.

            All you have to do to get your way is get like minded people onto the school board. Get to it.

          • Taxpayer too

            I’m just fine with the school district spending 365K on sports. I own my own home and 3 rental properties so I count as a tax payer. Sports serves a purpose whether some realize it or not and the dollar amount is not even remotely close to being out of line.

          • Resident

            I’m sure your tenants love the extra rent you charge so you can fund your little sports passion! If you went door to door in Hays (and this amount will vary by house-a $200,000 house spends about $200 a month in property taxes) but told them they could save $100 a month off property taxes by taking sports out, I’m guessing you’d see my point VERY quickly.

          • Cast your vote.

            If you were correct in assuming that the majority of our residents are tired of paying for sports you would probably be getting your way because the board would have heard from all of these disgruntled people.

            Seeing as how they haven’t heard from them in any real numbers they choose to leave it the way it is.

            So from this we can assume that either you are wrong and people aren’t unhappy about paying for sports in the numbers you keep claiming, or they simply don’t care about it enough to do anything about it.

      • REALLY

        I work for a private corporation and when we choose to quit or retire we do NOT get paid out our sick leave. I’m not sure why everyone thinks that teachers should have this benefit. I bet if you check around private companies – this is pretty much the norm.

        • Lefty54

          The biggest difference is that private companies typically don’t hire a substitute when an employee is home sick. If a teacher is home sick the district has to hire a sub. It is advantageous for the school district to have a teacher in the classroom teaching the kids instead of a substitute. And the rate paid for unused sick leave is less than the daily rate paid for a substitute. It is a perk sure, but their is sound reasoning behind it. It is better for the kids to have a teacher in the classroom and better for the district to not have to pay a substitute.

          • Cast your vote.

            So if I understand your statement, you are saying we need to pay them the unused sick time because if we don’t, they will call in sick when they aren’t really sick and cost the district more money due to having to hire a substitute to cover for them?

          • Mr. X

            Better yet in the private industry the other workers pick up the slack that day and get by. Teachers cannot do this because it is not in their contract.

          • Think before you blog

            How in the world would they? You make no sense. So if a 2nd grade teacher is sick, they’ll just have the other 2nd grade teacher pop in every few minutes from her class to that class to ‘pick up the slack’. Any more bright ideas?

          • Lefty54

            What an absurd statement. Just tell those 30 kids in 8th grade PE class to shoot baskets or something and the English teacher will check on them sometime. Tell those 20 students in high school shop class to be careful and the math teacher will try to peek in and make sure nobody cuts off their fingers. Tell those 15 special needs kids they are on their own but the history teacher down the hall may try to check that they are still in their wheelchairs when he isn’t busy with his own class of 25 seniors in government class.
            And you think the other teachers just need to “pick up the slack” instead of hiring subs. Yeah thats brilliant.

      • Uh…no

        Just an FYI for you… sports aren’t free!

        • Telling it like it is

          FYI-any student in USD489 can sign up for any sport or multiple sports and not have to pay a fee. Therefore-it’s FREE.

          • Cast your vote.

            Wrong, our taxes are paying for the budgeted amount going to sports. Therefore they are not free.

          • Telling it like it is

            I’m guessing this basic concept eludes you so I’ll make it simple. If you get a gallon of milk and are on WIC and don’t give the cashier money, you would say it is free. Yes, us taxpayers are paying for that milk, but that person is not directly paying for it. Same with USD 489 sports. A student can go out for track and not pay a single dime to do so. That is called FREE. The taxpayers are supporting it. The student can go out for that sport with no money down, no payment agreement, no pay to play fee, no IOU, nothing, nada, zip. FREE FREE FREE

          • Cast your vote.

            I would never say a gallon of milk used by someone on WIC is free because it isn’t. Nothing in life is free. Including sports at 489.

            Your insistence that something you didn’t directly hand money to someone for is free is absurd. I suppose you drive to work everyday on free roads and when you need to call the police for help or the fire department to save your property from burning they are doing it all for free as well?

          • Telling it like it is

            You can argue with me all you want. USD 489 did not pass a pay to play fee. Therefore, it is FREE. If I drive down I-70 by Hays, it is free. If I go by Topeka and pass the toll booth, I have to pay (not free). Nothing absurd about it. We need to have a pay to play fee to help balance the budget and quit allowing all these extras to be a given and stop placing the burden on the taxpayers and on enrollment fees. If you want to play a sport, then you need to pay some to help keep the cost down. If my kids all play several sports at school, I still don’t pay anything money in for them to do so. Free buddy. Learn the concept.

          • Cast your vote.

            You pay for those roads when you buy gas and pay the taxes the government collects on it. So it’s not free to drive on them.

            Your argument is illogical to the point that it’s not even worth making. I feel sorry for you in that you can’t grasp basic concepts like this, but I would encourage you to go to a board meeting and let them know about this point they have apparently missed.

            I’m sure they will see the light when you explain it as you have here.

          • Taxpayer too

            You are ridiculous. You throw pay to play and balance the budget around as if you think you have a clue! Let me hear your pay to play concept. I want to know how you think a few thousand dollars are going to balance the budget. Stop complaining and actually show how you would do it! Or, are you one of the several others on here that no nothing about how the budget works or how the money is utilized, yet complain ignorantly? Show us oh great one, how will the pay to play scenario work and how will the district benefit?

          • Side Car

            But you are blindly missing a couple of things…, the student athlete does bring money to the table via fundraising and the games generate revenue via admission sales. Not quite the same as your WIC example in which that individual does not even pay property or income taxes. Therefore I’d say you are using the term FREE a little loosely!

  • Big Girl

    What is the responsibility of the BOE?

    “First and foremost school boards look out for students.
    Education is not a line item on the school board’s agenda—it is the only item.
    When making decisions about school programs, school boards incorporate their community’s view of what students should know and be able to do.
    School boards are accessible to the public and accountable for the performance of their schools.
    School boards are the education watchdog for their communities, ensuring that students get the best education for the tax dollars spent.”
    The BOE has had a challenge with the lack of prior fiscal responsibility, decline in government assistance, prior lack of administration, etc. The BOE in my opinion are a group of volunteers willing to sacrifice their families for the rest of us. My frustration lies in the fact they are required to do more then a BOE should be required to do. I believe tax dollars are spent on less than qualified administration in some instances. I believe a few in the admin arena are experiencing more power then they ever have in their lives (for reason) and it has gone to their heads. Why are some circumventing policy? Why are some circumventing practices put in place to protect the district and its assets?

    • Long time parent

      They are not even taking care of the basics though. That’s the problem. You said it yourself-education-it’s the only item. All they have done is remove staff, increase class size, and make it costlier than ever for parents. Whether the BOE are volunteers or get paid, they are there to lead us in the right direction. It’s time to change a few of them out as they are leading us backwards right now.