Because almost all OT is paid for by the outside users of these school facilities, it’s been a district cash cow for years.
As cited in the Leader today, this woman’s just being a nudge, an officious pest. Check out the glaring headline:
First 100-days report shows Burbank Unified isn’t paying off vacation accruals
Rising vacation accruals and overseeing overtime, primarily from Burbank Unified School District classified staff, were listed as “areas to watch” on a financial report compiled by Debbie Kukta, the district’s new assistant superintendent of administrative services.
…However, in her [Kutka’s] presentation, she noted “a large volume of overtime” being paid out by the district, primarily in janitorial services, and suggested the need for a review of overtime assignments, job responsibilities and use of facilities permits.
“I brought up overtime because it’s an area I’d like to look more into,” Kukta said. “I’m approving these blocks of overtime and mainly they’re tied to use of facilities permits.”
Who the hell is she? OT is also required for these use assignments. So she has no choice.
The Leader here does a good job of examining the reality:
When an outside company wants to use district facilities for events such as a play or filming, they are required to apply for facilities permits.
Burbank Unified, for instance, charges $2,500 for basic filming rights for up to 15 hours.
Often district custodians work overtime to clean up after events, and the district charges film companies a rate of $55 per hour for facilities use on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, before 6:30 a.m. or after 5 p.m.
While the district bills film companies these fees, Kukta said she wanted to make sure Burbank Unified isn’t losing money.
They aren’t. Quite the opposite. Kutka’s grandstanding. Since the Burbank custodians make nowhere near $55 an hour on these jobs, the district makes about a hundred-percent profit on the deal.
And which actually violates state law — they can only charge for direct costs for nonprofit functions.
“It’s mainly looking at the process to make sure that these amounts are supposed to be billed to the people who are applying for these facilities permits,” Kukta said. “We’re just making sure we’re covering our costs.”
Kutka’s being a pest. In another part of the article, she’s also wrong in trying to dramatize the classified employees’ accrued vacation.
Why? Because unlike the teachers, most of these employees aren’t replaced by subs during their vacation periods, and so “cashing them out” would actually cost the district more money than just paying them their regular salary while they’re gone from work, which is what happens. They’d be paying them double money for that “accrued” time period.
Cashing out also defeats the purpose of a vacation. We’re not sure either if the CSEA contract allows a cash redemption on vacation days. They have to be taken as vacation, or are eventually lost.
In fact, as far as we know, it’s been almost 40 years since BUSD employees could actually cash out their sick or vacation days. Leftover vacation days can only be cashed out upon departure from service; sick days never any more.
You know what used to happen in the good old days? Before about 1983 or so school employees could cash out their accrued sick days upon retirement or resignation. At 12 earned sick days per year, some people would accrue 200 or 300 (or more) sick days during their career.
Anyone remember Joe Recchia, the old custodian at Edison (and almost every place else)? In 45 years of BUSD employment he never took a sick day. That was quite a check he got cut when he finally retired.