Who to blame?

I wonder who is to blame in this situation.

A Massachusetts school board has denied a teacher’s request for three paid days off to welcome home her soldier stepson who was seriously injured while serving in Afghanistan.

Sonya Lomax, a high school math teacher in Carver, Mass., had asked for the three additional days to visit with her stepson, 23-year-old Army Spc. Todd Lomax, who was seriously wounded after being hit by shrapnel in a grenade explosion in Kandahar Province in October.
Lomax had already taken the nine paid days of leave allotted to her under her contract, but requested an additional three days of leave, citing “extenuating circumstances,”…

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/01/10/massachusetts-teacher-denied-extra-paid-leave-to-welcome-home-son-wounded-in/#ixzz1j4b5gyxO

At first glance you would think the School Board is to blame and maybe they are to some extent. However after reading the whole story at the link above part of me thinks maybe it is the union’s fault too. Not because they didn’t somehow predict the future and account for this but probably because they are such a pain the a$$ to deal with that the School board is trying to teach them a lesson and show them that if they want to play by the rules, then the rules it is.

I will be the first to admit I HATE unions, I mean DEPLORE them. I have friends, very close ones, in unions. Some are by the choice, others are forced into it in order to hold the job that they do. Unions are an outdated concept in my opinion and I think our society (who aren’t in love with unions) would agree. We are a much more educated and informed society than back when unions were formed. They don’t do anything except take money from their members while never really looking after all their interests.

Unions are typically such sticklers about contracts and “rights” and what is owed to them that they hold the company hostage. 

In reading between the lines on the story above it seems that the School Board is just telling them, “hey we gave her the nine days as per YOUR contract”. It really stinks that Ms. Lomax is being used as an “example” if that is the case, and again I am only assuming here, but in seeing how unions act I can partially see why.

The bottom line is she is only asking for 3 days so maybe the School board could grant it out of the kindness of their heart and then use that as a talking and negotiating point in the future. I think they could turn this around as a good thing for them in dealing with the union going forward. Who knows if they will, but I am sure since this story is national that they will get a few phone calls, emails and maybe visits.

If nothing else, maybe she can take 3 days unpaid and go visit her son and if the community feels strong enough about this they can take up a collection for her to offset the loss of pay.

What do you think?

4 thoughts on “Who to blame?”

  1. I totally agree w/you about unions. My family has been associated with them for many years. It’s time to do away with unions! Now, to the poor woman denied 3 days off from work, what is this world coming to? If all else fails I hope she take the 3 days unpaid and go anyway. Such a shame that feelings don’t mean much any more.

  2. Thank you for posting this story. Residents in that town, sent donations out of the kindness of their hearts, to help this teacher and her son. God Bless our Veterans and God bless those who serve!

  3. What is confusing is it seems according to the Union Rep. that she is allowed this paid time off??? Not sure who is to blame, Superintendent? Union?

    Carver Public Schools
    School Committee Meeting
    Open Session – Monday, December 12, 2011

    Mr. Crosby introduced Sonya Lomax, MHS Math teacher, who wanted to bring an issue to the school committee. Mrs. Lomax asked to have a decision of the Superintendent’s overturned regarding unpaid days of leave. Her son was critically wounded in Afghanistan and for time out of school she used 5 family illness days, 2 personal days, 1 military day and 1 emergency day, a total of 9 days paid. On her first day of absence after learning of her son’s injuries, she posted out as personal sick time. The Superintendent made the decision to change that day to family illness time which gave her one less paid day. Mrs. Lomax asked to have the 2 personal days and 1 military day changed to paid leave of absence under the consideration Article XVI (Temporary Leaves of Absence), number 12 as a reference to her request: “Additional temporary leaves of absence with pay may be granted at the sole discretion of the Employer.” The Superintendent gave an explanation of her fulfilling the policies stated in the contract and further stated it was her responsibility to be a good steward of the resources of the school department. The Committee felt they needed to review the language in the contract before making a decision for Mrs. Lomax’s request. James Crosby commented the contract gives the employer broad discretion for granting a paid temporary leave and it stated it would not be precedent setting. The committee placed this item on the January agenda for further discussion and decision of the request.

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