Totes Obvs. Michigan teachers union demands $10K severance pay for child molester teacher

posted at 8:01 am on December 13, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

There comes a point for anyone writing about labor union issues where you have to begin to wonder, why do I bother? There is apparently no story, be it ever so shocking, which is going to make any difference. But you still maintain the hope that there are a few people out there who reflexively support the public teachers unions but who don’t follow the news very closely. And maybe… just maybe… they might catch a story which makes them wonder if all their time and money is going to that good of a cause. Today we find precisely such a story coming to us from Michigan.

The Michigan Education Association is going to arbitration to try to force the West Branch-Rose City school district to pay a former teacher who was convicted of molesting a student a $10,000 severance buyout.

The father of the victim is outraged, calling the union’s efforts on behalf of the sex criminal “ludicrous” and saying any school money due to the teacher should go to his son, who is “out there trying to make it in this world all messed up.”

Neal Erickson, a former math teacher at Rose City Middle School, was convicted this summer of raping a young student over three years, from 2006 to 2009, and sentenced to 15-30 years in prison.

The case sparked community outrage when several of the district’s teachers wrote letters of support for Erickson, pleading for a lenient sentence. A school board member, Mike Eagan, also drew the public’s ire when he sat with the Erickson family at the pedophile’s sentencing.

Now, I know what some of you may still be thinking here. That can’t possibly be all there is to the story. That’s not possible. And in this case, you’d be right. It’s not just a case of calling for severance payment. The technical details show that there was an offer of a $10,000 buyout from the district for any qualifying teacher who left that year as part of some mandatory cost cutting. The timing of the conviction and the fact that the payments were being made in two, $5K sums, appeared to make Erickson eligible. And when the the details of the court case were revealed, the district decided not to make the payment.

Problem solved, right? I mean, it’s not like even the teachers union would go to bat on behalf of a convicted sex criminal to get him an extra check.

MEA UniServ Director Ron Parkinson acknowledged that the union is taking the case to arbitration on behalf of Erickson, but declined to discuss the case further.

“We don’t make a practice of discussing any case. It’s based on contractual compliance, and that’s really all I can say,” Parkinson told EAGnews Friday. “We filed for arbitration today.”

The union’s silence is understandable. There is no morally justifiable reason for pursuing public tax dollars for a teacher who committed one of the most heinous crimes against the public trust.

There is apparently no limit. There is no level of shame which can not be surpassed. And yet the story goes on and on.


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Totes Obvs. Michigan teachers union demands $10K severance pay for child molester teacher

… it’s the new attitude…..SO WHAT?

KOOLAID2 on December 13, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Stupid union. Only the baseball players’ union gets to seek redress for its miscreant members.

22044 on December 13, 2013 at 8:08 AM

It will get paid out very quietly, you KNOW it will.

Mord on December 13, 2013 at 8:08 AM

If it is in their contract the Union does not have a choice. As wrong as this case is, if they don’t represent their member in accordance with their contract they will get sued and lose.

Johnnyreb on December 13, 2013 at 8:12 AM

A school board member, Mike Eagan, also drew the public’s ire when he sat with the Erickson family at the pedophile’s sentencing.

So run his ass off the board with extreme prejudice and make his life a living hell everyday until that happens.

I don’t ever ever ever want to hear “For the children!” from public union supporters again. Never ever.

Bishop on December 13, 2013 at 8:14 AM

The severance I’d like to give him has nothing to do with pay.

CurtZHP on December 13, 2013 at 8:15 AM

When did the mob take over the teachers union? Is all this payola on a scale now? How much do they pay a teacher for a hit? For extorting lunch money from the kiddies? This pos should have his equipment cut off in public with a rusty knife but instead we are paying him off. “We have met the enemy and he is us” Pogo.

chicken thief on December 13, 2013 at 8:19 AM

The union’s silence is understandable. There is no morally justifiable reason for pursuing public tax dollars for a teacher who committed one of the most heinous crimes against the public trust.

I honestly wonder if there are additional pedophiles hiding in the Union’s leadership. I can see them being legally required to make a token effort on this teacher’s behalf but they are clearly working hard to rescue him:

The case sparked community outrage when several of the district’s teachers wrote letters of support for Erickson, pleading for a lenient sentence. A school board member, Mike Eagan, also drew the public’s ire when he sat with the Erickson family at the pedophile’s sentencing.

The ONLY way this is excusable is if the accused is innocent, which seems unlikely to me if he was convicted in a court of law.

Doomberg on December 13, 2013 at 8:22 AM

There is apparently no limit. There is no level of shame which can not be surpassed. And yet the story goes on and on.

This is not simply a ‘union thing’, it’s an ‘American Left thing’.

Pick a topic, pick a situation – ‘shame’ has no meaning, and you can easily presume the worst of the Left, and never be disappointed.

Midas on December 13, 2013 at 8:22 AM

Jazz,

I think you missed some important facts here. The community has rallied against this. There is a recall petition against Egan. And 87 students (out of 2,000 in the system) have been pulled out in protest against these teachers who would support a “colleague” who raped a student over the course of three years.

The MEA and may or may not have to send this to arbitration as part of their organizational responsibilities but how many parents would want to put their child in the classroom with a teacher who writes letters supporting a pedophile. Erickson should not be the only one leaving the school.

Happy Nomad on December 13, 2013 at 8:23 AM

The case sparked community outrage when several of the district’s teachers wrote letters of support for Erickson, pleading for a lenient sentence.

I’d also want to know who these aholes are just to make sure my own kids were never anywhere near their classrooms.

Bishop on December 13, 2013 at 8:24 AM

Now had the teacher been straight…

DethMetalCookieMonst on December 13, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Totes Obvs.

PLEASE do NOT use linguistic stupidity in your headlines, unless you’re a fourth-grader. If there were some ironic reason to stoop to that level, fine. But there doesn’t appear to be, so stop it.

GWB on December 13, 2013 at 8:25 AM

When did the mob take over the teachers union? Is all this payola on a scale now?

chicken thief on December 13, 2013 at 8:19 AM

The MEA has been mobbed up for decades. Look at any Democrat committee in the state and the overwhelming leadership will be MEA, SEIU, and UAW. They had a sweet deal going on for years where the MEA mandated that teachers must get health insurance through the union-owned provider. When MI became right-to-work it decimated the MEA ranks to the point they are mum on their actual membership numbers.

Happy Nomad on December 13, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Johnnyreb on December 13, 2013 at 8:12 AM

The union should take the hit for hiring this pedophile to begin with and make a point that they are doing it because it is the right thing to draw the line between union membership and pedophiles and that they stand to protect the children placed in their charge by the law.

The union would score a lot of good will across the nation and, more to the point, in the state of Michigan where their neighbors, friends, and most likely some portion of their families reside.

thatsafactjack on December 13, 2013 at 8:27 AM

PLEASE do NOT use linguistic stupidity in your headlines, unless you’re a fourth-grader. If there were some ironic reason to stoop to that level, fine. But there doesn’t appear to be, so stop it.

GWB on December 13, 2013 at 8:25 AM

For those tattooed freak biker types among us who are trend-challenged, can you explain what this is? I heard it first on those Sprint(?) commercials with James Earl Jones where they’re having the conversation and saying things like Totes Magotes.

What is it?

Bishop on December 13, 2013 at 8:29 AM

So run his ass off the board with extreme prejudice and make his life a living hell everyday until that happens.

I don’t ever ever ever want to hear “For the children!” from public union supporters again. Never ever.

Bishop on December 13, 2013 at 8:14 AM

This is a small enough community, I’m sure Egan and his family have had some really interesting encounters since he decided to support a pedophile.

Happy Nomad on December 13, 2013 at 8:29 AM

For those tattooed freak biker types among us who are trend-challenged,

Bishop on December 13, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Hate to break it to ya but “tattooed freak biker” is a trend too. :0

Happy Nomad on December 13, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Let’s cut down on wasteful expenses. Let the child’s parents take care of “severance.”

coldwarrior on December 13, 2013 at 8:35 AM

As peelosi told us yesterday: Embrace the suck…and there is much that sucks.

crosshugger on December 13, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Let’s cut down on wasteful expenses. Let the child’s parents take care of “severance.”

coldwarrior on December 13, 2013 at 8:35 AM

In all honesty, I’m less interested in the victim here than the teachers who supported the molester. Teachers SHOULD be at the head of the line calling for maximum sentences allowable. Erickson was in a position of authority and trust and he molested a child. What possible factors would mitigate that to the point that leniency was called for? Why is a member of the school board sitting with the molester?

If I were living in this community, I think I would be one of those who pulled my child from the school system. It is clear that the problems at the school extend beyond this one monster.

Happy Nomad on December 13, 2013 at 8:41 AM

When did the mob take over the teachers union? Is all this payola on a scale now? How much do they pay a teacher for a hit? For extorting lunch money from the kiddies? This pos should have his equipment cut off in public with a rusty knife but instead we are paying him off. “We have met the enemy and he is us” Pogo.

chicken thief on December 13, 2013 at 8:19 AM

The ‘mob’ would’ve been the ones using the rusty knife on him. It seems to me RICO has replaced organized crime with Democrat politicians.

Fenris on December 13, 2013 at 8:42 AM

This may be excessive effort in looking for a bright side, but remember, the guy got decades, and a gay child molester’s time in the joint will not be comparatively pleasant. It won’t do him any good. Also, what the public paid in legal fees and so forth to get the conviction probably dwarfs a mere $10G.

He’ll get his. Again and again. I say let it go.

Which is not to say I don’t think ‘F the morally bankrupt union that goes to bat for him’… That is a given.

Dirty Creature on December 13, 2013 at 8:45 AM

This may be excessive effort in looking for a bright side, but remember, the guy got decades, and a gay child molester’s time in the joint will not be comparatively pleasant.

Dirty Creature on December 13, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Yeah, even that isn’t exactly a bright side. There are still several teachers and a member of the school board that are interacting with children after supporting this scumbag.

You say “let it go.” That’s pretty good advice but I’ve got to wonder how this particular community does that. These situations are always involve more consequences than just those involving the the molester and their victim(s). In this case, for example, how do you put your child into a class with a teacher who supported the molester?

Happy Nomad on December 13, 2013 at 8:52 AM

If it is in their contract the Union does not have a choice. As wrong as this case is, if they don’t represent their member in accordance with their contract they will get sued and lose.

Johnnyreb on December 13, 2013 at 8:12 AM

The contractual issue required that he volunteer to leave. He was convicted of a crime and let go for cause. The criminal action for which he would have been fired occured before the offer was made, I’m pretty certain. The criminal action negates any subsequent “volunteering”.

GWB on December 13, 2013 at 9:04 AM

The contractual issue required that he volunteer to leave. He was convicted of a crime and let go for cause. The criminal action for which he would have been fired occured before the offer was made, I’m pretty certain. The criminal action negates any subsequent “volunteering”.

GWB on December 13, 2013 at 9:04 AM

I suspect a lot of it has to do with timing. If he “volunteered” before being convicted it would probably make a difference. If the school district had to accept such voluntary actions, it would make a difference.

Bottom line here, the severance pay is secondary to the fact that this molester is getting so much support. The victim can sue for that $10K (and a lot more) but I wouldn’t put my child through any more of this filth than necessary.

Happy Nomad on December 13, 2013 at 9:09 AM

There is apparently no limit. There is no level of shame which can not be surpassed.

Our culture threw away shame which is part of the structure of morality.

Shame gets in the way of the worship of self…and people would rather feel good about themselves.

This unfortunately is encouraged by the psychiatric and social welfare professional institutions who seek to replace the churches and synagogues.

workingclass artist on December 13, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Let’s cut down on wasteful expenses. Let the child’s parents take care of “severance.”

coldwarrior on December 13, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Hear, hear! I’d like to know what they sever.

apostic on December 13, 2013 at 9:13 AM

What is it?

Bishop on December 13, 2013 at 8:29 AM

“Totes” is evidently a shortcut for “totally”. Because “way” has obviously lost its cachet. *eyeroll*

GWB on December 13, 2013 at 9:18 AM

When did the mob take over the teachers union?
chicken thief on December 13, 2013 at 8:19 AM

About two seconds after the union was formed, if not before.

Rusty Bill on December 13, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Our culture threw away shame which is part of the structure of morality.

Shame gets in the way of the worship of self…and people would rather feel good about themselves.

workingclass artist on December 13, 2013 at 9:12 AM

QFT

Let the child’s parents take care of “severance.”

coldwarrior on December 13, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Make it pay-per-view. Something like Running Man, only the parents are the ones trying to keep him from getting to prison in one piece. If he makes it to prison, then he can serve his sentence and be done with it.

GWB on December 13, 2013 at 9:22 AM

If it is in their contract the Union does not have a choice. As wrong as this case is, if they don’t represent their member in accordance with their contract they will get sued and lose.

Johnnyreb on December 13, 2013 at 8:12 AM

You’d think there would be a provision that says if the severance is due to a criminal conviction, the severance payment is forfeited.

Bitter Clinger on December 13, 2013 at 9:33 AM

“Totes” is evidently a shortcut for “totally”. Because “way” has obviously lost its cachet. *eyeroll*

GWB on December 13, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Gah! I hate it, sounds lame.

Bishop on December 13, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Hate to break it to ya but “tattooed freak biker” is a trend too. :0

Happy Nomad on December 13, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Those hipster douchebags make me puke, like the geek who is People’s Sexiest Man, covering themselves in ink with no rhyme or reason.

“This is the Chinese symbol for ‘Coexist’ which I got tattooed on my armpit, you like it???”

No.

Bishop on December 13, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Those hipster douchebags make me puke, like the geek who is People’s Sexiest Man, covering themselves in ink with no rhyme or reason.

Bishop on December 13, 2013 at 9:38 AM

I hear you! I used to live in an affluent part of MI. There were all these high schoolers dressed in black with the whole alienated from society attitude. It was hillarious to watch them getting into their mommy’s Lexus and driving off.

Happy Nomad on December 13, 2013 at 9:45 AM

What is it?
 
Bishop on December 13, 2013 at 8:29 AM

 
“Totes” is evidently a shortcut for “totally”. Because “way” has obviously lost its cachet. *eyeroll*
 
GWB on December 13, 2013 at 9:18 AM

 
I read it as the umbrella company, and figured the “obvs” was a legal abbreviation I wasn’t familiar with.
 
No kidding.

rogerb on December 13, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Hate to break it to ya but “tattooed freak biker” is a trend too. :0

Happy Nomad on December 13, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Those hipster douchebags make me puke, like the geek who is People’s Sexiest Man, covering themselves in ink with no rhyme or reason.

“This is the Chinese symbol for ‘Coexist’ which I got tattooed on my armpit, you like it???”

No.

Bishop, my man. That is a gem of a response. Cleaning my screen for the coexist Chinese symbol.

Gebirgsjager on December 13, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Gah! I hate it, sounds lame.

Bishop on December 13, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Hey, ya gotta let Jazz get his valley girl groove on sometimes.

From Fox news article:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/12/12/union-seeks-severance-for-teacher-convicted-raping-student/

In September, FoxNews.com reported that enrollment in the West Branch-Rose City School District was unofficially down 87 percent following a tumultuous summer in which angry parents blasted teachers for writing letters in support of Erickson.

Down 87% of their customer base. Perhaps the whole public school should be scrapped and give the citizens their property taxes back.

oryguncon on December 13, 2013 at 10:44 AM

If it is in their contract the Union does not have a choice. As wrong as this case is, if they don’t represent their member in accordance with their contract they will get sued and lose.

Johnnyreb on December 13, 2013 at 8:12 AM

The teacher violated his employment contract through criminal sexual conduct with the minor boy who was his student.

http://theothermccain.com/2013/12/12/michigan-union-teachers-still-have-a-right-to-benefits-after-boning-teenagers/

workingclass artist on December 13, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Fine. Lien the money, and all his other assets. Then, hand them to his victim to settle the subsequent civil suit. Save the tax payers the legal bills associated with fighting the union.

Win, win. Next.

FineasFinn on December 13, 2013 at 11:17 AM

The child and parents can sue in civil court. They can then get the $10K plus a whole lot more, maybe his pension.

djaymick on December 13, 2013 at 11:20 AM

The child and parents can sue in civil court. They can then get the $10K plus a whole lot more, maybe his pension.

djaymick on December 13, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Sue the Union…Discovery is a B*tch

workingclass artist on December 13, 2013 at 12:06 PM

They should write 1 comprehensive, all-inclussive check to this guy and place it on a table in his Prison’s General Population lunch room during the time everyone is at lunch. All he has to do is go pick it up.

It is amazing how our society would even consider reqarding this child molester after he has betrayed his sacred trust of protecting and teaching children. It is telling that the ‘best of us’ in society have such a hard time putting warped animals like this down – killing them; yet, the ‘worst’ among us, who are incarcerated, have ZERO tolerance for anyone who hurts a child and have no problem killing them as quickly as possible!

Also, if Union Bosses would like to argue any further and make their case why this guy should be paid, allow them to negotiate with those very same prisoners in Prison who do not tolerate child molesters to live. I am sure they would LOVE to know why these Union Reps believe child perverts like this guy should be compensated for what he did!

easyt65 on December 13, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Yes “Totes” is short for “totally”

Often used in “Totes adorbs” or Totally Adorable, ie: cute.

I’m not a native speaker of tween, but I live among them.

Daisy_WI on December 13, 2013 at 7:21 PM

If it is in their contract the Union does not have a choice. As wrong as this case is, if they don’t represent their member in accordance with their contract they will get sued and lose.

Johnnyreb on December 13, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Of course the have a choice. Even if it was in contract, they could wait to to be pressed. Bear in mind that any action brought would be privately on behalf of a convicted child-molester… for 10 thousand dollars … not a big issue for the Union. They could have easily left it alone.

virgo on December 14, 2013 at 2:37 AM

Are you flunking out of all your collage classes no problem transfer to the teaching track we guarantee you can graduate.

Slowburn on December 14, 2013 at 3:42 AM