Monday, May 05, 2008

A culture of secrecy and backroom deals.

Agreement Terms

Now therefore, it is agreed as follows:

1. [Deleted] will be paid a lump sum payment of [deleted], less applicable payroll taxes, on or about [deleted] 2008.

Translation: Subject will be provided a large sum of cash.

2. By entering into this Agreement, neither the District, the Union, nor [deleted] admits the truth of any allegation raised by the other parties, and no party admits any liability to the other for any matter related to the dispute which is resolved by this Agreement, other than the liabilities arising from this Agreement.

Translation: No parties are at fault.

3. [Deleted], the Union, and the District agree to keep the terms of this Agreement and its existence confidential except as required by law. Without limiting the foregoing, the parties shall not discuss this Agreement or its contents with any former or current District staff, parents, students, or community members unless otherwise required by law.

Translation: Don't tell anybody.

4. This constitutes the entire agreement by and between the parties and is full and final resolution of the issue.

Translation: This seals the deal.

5. This Agreement shall not hereafter be invoked by any party as precedent in connection with any other complaint or grievance or dispute between the parties, except for the purpose of enforcing the Agreement itself.

Translation: No one can use this deal as grounds for a future claim.

6. This Agreement is in full and final settlement of any and all claims by the Union and [deleted] against the District. The Union and [deleted] release, acquit, and forever discharge the District (including its board of directors, employees, and agents) from any and all actions, claims, and damages on account of or growing out of the aforementioned dispute. The only rights retained by them against the District are those expressly provided for in this Agreement.

Translation: The District didn't do anything wrong.

7. [Deleted] has reviewed this Agreement with his respective advisor and executes this Agreement knowingly and voluntarily.

Translation: Sign the deal and get the money.

Signed by [Deleted], the Union representative and Human Resources.


Anonymous said...

The result of these is that it makes it very difficult to pursue a legal case against the district. There are many of these agreements out there. People are too affraid to stand up to the district, so you almost never hear of such agreements.

Anonymous said...

How would you ever know what is being settled with such an ambiguous agreement? Or is that the point? It does not make a reference as to what is being settled. Let's give Laura Barney another chance to respond to this. Sorry I forgot that she is sworn from this site. Hey would Marla be considered a "Master Of Puppets?"

Anonymous said...

I think this is what Mr Penney is getting or is that Mrs Penney getting it.
I think it has something to do about a hostile work environment.
Just ask HR about that one.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Mine reads pretty much the same. It's almost down to a form letter. Under the guise of "private personnel issues" much is kept quiet from the public and other employees who may be experiencing the same issues but who are too afraid/ashamed to complain.

I use the following analogy to explain why I signed mine: imagine having a galvanized bucket upside down over your head and someone is banging on it with a hammer. You'll do anything to stop the noise and pain. Worst decision I've ever made.

I would urge everyone who is presented with a "settlement agreement" to consult your own lawyer on the larger issues involved. See what they'll do if you don't sign it. It might prove interesting if they suddenly couldn't use this as a means to get rid of people and shut them up forever.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mark, just what is this for? said...

I think the District was painfully clear. It is the legal definition of gifting public funds. Nobody did anything wrong. Nobody is at fault. The only thing the document accomplished is to transfer public money without an explanation.

Anonymous said...

Can you do a public disclosure request for the last 5 - 10 years to see how much "hush money" has actually been paid? How about the amount paid out in "administrative leave"?

Anonymous said...

There will be more to come on these agreements. Taxpayers will be pleased as punch to know that the district actually pays more than the disputed amount in many cases.