That’s what it’s all about when you are working in the field of education. And if you plan to retire from teaching in the state of Florida, having all your ducks in a row is beneficial for a smooth transition. H thought he had all those ducks trained. He was wrong.
When you are told by the director of personnel you are on the right track, you pretty much assume she knows what she is talking about. At a meeting last year for DROP participants and retirees-to-be, he was told he had to be employed for fourteen years and one day in Florida to be able to collect the leave time he had acquired while teaching. Otherwise, he would only be paid for fifty percent of that time. He was short by one year and was led to believe if he transferred the time he had on the books in south Florida to Walton County, he would be eligible.
That fourteen years and one day should have been a clue right there. The day would not affect him, but why tack on that one day unless to eliminate many hopefuls? He jumped through their hoops and transferred those two years. By the skin of his teeth he had qualified. We thought.
This afternoon when he went in to sign his retirement papers he was told he would only get paid at the fifty percent rate for leave time because those fourteen years and one day of accrued leave time had to be from Walton County. They weren’t. Seems as though the director of personnel’s secretary is better informed than she is.
They didn’t tell him he could sell back his leave time for this year (he had 7 days on the books) at eighty percent and recoup a little of that lost money. Is it even worth the effort?
That’s not all the bad news that unfolded on the table today. His health insurance will be ending on May 31st – his termination date – instead of July 31st which is the end of the school year. He will get his June and July checks though because he is a twelve month employee. They won’t deduct the portion he pays for health insurance out of those last two checks. Is that really fair? It’s a good thing he’s up to date on his doctors appointments and I just refilled his prescriptions on the three-month plan.
Do I have a reason to rant? You bet I do. We aren’t talking a few piddly days or pocket change on that leave time. He has 719.87 days on the books which adds up to the tune of about six months pay!
H hardly ever took any time off – even when he was sick. Getting the band on the field or prepared for a performance always took precidence. This money would have been rolled over with his DROP money into an anuity for retirement income and it was a huge chunk of change we had counted on.
How many others have been led astray in this fiasco? He knows of a few. We will be ok. We planned ahead and weren’t expecting that windfall until last year. It’s just very depressing to not get what you were promised. You can’t fight city hall.
With five more days left to work I wonder when the other shoe will fall. I’m sure Walton County is laughing all the way to the bank.