Five-Figure Bonuses for Incompetent GPS District Staffers

Hey, teachers, are you feeling all that awesomeness from the convocation that was supposed to inspire you to achieve greatness for Gilbert Public Schools? Welcome to the real world of GPS where the Office of Talent Management takes care of their own first. The incompetent folks in the GPS Business Office, those who haven’t been able to pay GPS employees properly for the past year and a half since the *new* payroll system was implemented, have been doing very well for themselves, financially speaking. 

It’s going to be a long, dry spell before all GPS employees start seeing their paychecks this year since the GPS payroll geniuses already *forgot* one payroll run. Those same payroll geniuses haven’t been able to figure out pay, tax withholding or any of the tasks associated with running payroll for thousands of employees, but my, oh my, how they have been rewarded with bonuses and stipends and other disgusting schemes to enrich a few White Castle employees favored by GPS Tops Dogs!

The two GPS Top Dogs in the Business Office who screwed things up so spectacularly were Lynne Easton, Business Services Coordinator (who is long gone now), and Lindie Evans, Payroll Supervisor (who is still incompetent). Let’s take a look at public records showing how these two GPS staffers were richly rewarded for their incompetence at a time when teachers and support staffers were being told they could have tiny little percentages of raises because that’s all that GPS could afford. Silly Jilly Humpherys was especially smarmy and smug about how the district was broke when it came to matters of paying teachers and support staff on the front lines of education … at GPS schools.

Here’s how this disgusting *enrichment* scheme proliferated in the bowels of the GPS White Castle. According to her salary documents, Lynne Easton was hired on April 21, 2015, as a Coordinator of Business Services at a salary of $75,842.00. [Certified employees don’t make nearly that much as teachers, but neither do most of the certified folks in the academic divisions at the district office.] Unlike you teachers who are required to *volunteer* before your contract term begins, Lynne Easton was paid $320.01 per day to work five days before her contract began, for a benefit of $1,600.05.

Oh lookie here: Lynne Easton’s pals in the White Castle even paid her BEFORE she worked those days! As the documents show, even though one of the dates she was supposed to work was June 26, 2015, her special pay arrangement was “satisfactorily completed” on June 22, 2015. Support staff, remember this when GPS Top Dogs tell you your paycheck has to be delayed because you might accidentally be paid for a day you didn’t work … seriously, that’s their reason.  BTW, when Slimebucket Suzanne Zentner was hired, GPS also paid her $2,637.13 to work 5 days before her official start date.  Keep that in mind, teachers: some GPS employees are more equal than others, and GPS has never been that into you!

But the big middle finger to all you certified and classified GPS employees who rated bonuses in the 0-1.06% range is this: Lynne Easton got a $12,500.00 bonus for “Visions implementation” when she resigned from GPS after less than a year. She also received vacation days payout, approved by Christina Kishimoto, and you can bet it was for full pay. In their continuing determination to deny producing public records to Westie, the GPS Powers That Be *forgot* to include the email correspondence that was affixed to some of the pay documents … perhaps because those emails are powerful evidence of wrongdoing, such as Slimebucket Suzanne Zentner’s email chain that proved GPS Top Dogs got under the table raises while other employees got the wahmbulance tear-jerker explanation that the district was broke.

Lindie Evans, the person who can’t manage payroll for GPS employees, collected a cool $12,500.00 bonus for screwing up GPS payroll in such spectacular fashion that employees still don’t know if they were paid for all the hours they worked during the 2016-2017 school year. Not only did her incompetence lead to the GPS Great Wage Theft Caper, she managed to make mileage reimbursements for traveling teachers a part of their salary, complete with withholding taxes on those measly mileage checks! She also supervised a GPS payroll *system failure* that screwed up income taxes on top of the other many failures to pay employees properly. Lindie Evans is still on the job, and if you GPS employees ask for details about your pay, she’ll create an Excel spreadsheet and try to baffle you with bull$h*t, because even though the IRS REQUIRES an employer to furnish those details WITH EVERY PAYCHECK, Lindie Evans and GPS can’t do that. She’ll probably get a $20,000.00 bonus this year.

Teachers, how much out-of-pocket money did you spend getting your classroom ready for students? We know it’s a lot … hundreds of dollars or more each year. Wouldn’t you rather have some of that money for your classroom rather than having the district pay for *refreshments* at just about every meeting GPS Top Dogs attend each year? It’s ridiculous that the Food Service division, which is supposed to provide student meals, has been suborned into feeding GPS board members, the district superintendency and campus administrators when they get together for regular meetings. Actually, that in-house catering service might be better than having those meetings catered by various local restaurants, and even holding *official* meetings in those restaurants. But that was not the use voters intended for their tax dollars. It’s not an appropriate expenditure of ANY public funds, but it continues and has become an extravagant embarrassment.

Teachers, how many days did you *volunteer* to work for free in setting up that classroom? We know that if you don’t *volunteer,* you set yourself up to be deemed by GPS administrators as not enthusiastic enough for GPS. In fact, when Jason Martin, the current GPS Executive Director of Elementary Education, was a principal, he stated that two weeks was about right for his teachers to *volunteer* before their contracts began. Otherwise, he said, their colleagues wouldn’t trust them. What a *collaborative* environment! [gag]

In spite of the happy words coming out of the 2017 GPS convocation, GPS has difficulties getting enough teachers. BTW, when GPS hires long-term subs instead of filling teacher positions, the subs  don’t volunteer for weeks, especially not at their lousy rate of pay. Just showing up on a school day is *volunteering* enough for them!

As of July 24, Gilbert Public Schools had 43 vacancies for certified teacher positions and had 2,067 teacher positions total. GPS spokeswoman Irene Mahoney-Paige said 193 teachers left at the end of last school year for retirement or other reasons. Again, special education, math and science positions have been the most difficult to fill. Mahoney-Paige said the district will also utilize long-term substitutes to fill vacancies until a certified teacher becomes available.

Along the same lines of reasoning, Interim Superintendent Suzanne Zentner bragged about having about 50 National Board Certified Teachers in the district. She’s apparently unaware that there used to be more than double that number of NBCTs before GPS became a District of Last Resort. These Top Dogs are unmoored from reality, or at least, they pretend to be when they’re explaining why GPS has lost ten per cent of the student population in recent years. [Hint: it’s not their fault. They seem to really believe that. Sheeeesh.]

GPS employees: are you tired of all the winning yet? Are you slip-sliding away with all the awesome sauce ladled over you … to distract from the fact that you most likely will have great difficulties getting paid all that you are owed for even a portion of the work that you do?

Maybe Westie should run for GPS Superintendent again. 

We’re workin’ our jobs, collect our pay,
Believe we’re gliding down the highway, when in fact we’re slip sliding away.

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