education

Education Union Wrangles Deal for Gov’t Employee Overpaid by $66K to ‘Keep Half’

With proof once again that government employee unions are bad for America, a public employee union in corrupt Illinois wrangled a deal for a city employee who was accidentally overpaid $66,000 to only have to pay back half of the overpayment — in other words, this worker gets to keep $33,000 of taxpayer funds despite the fact that she didn’t deserve the money in the first place.

The story comes from Niles Township in Illinois — a northern suburb of crooked Chicago.

In Niles, a part-time high school librarian was overpaid an incredible $66,000 through an accounting department error. Now, let’s face facts, here. There is no way on earth this part-time employee DIDN’T know she was getting more money than she deserved. Naturally, this fool spent all the illicit cash.

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I mean, come on. If you suddenly started getting more than double your weekly paycheck, you would absolutely know that something was wrong.

Naturally, the accounting error was eventually discovered and the employee was told she would have to repay the taxpayer’s money that she was improperly given.

Ah, but then the employee union stepped in. Let’s pick up the story form the Illinois Policy Institute:

The district overpaid Helen Rifkin, a part-time library employee at Niles West High School, by $66,531 over the course of five years, due to an error in the payroll reporting system. But the agreement between the board, the worker and her union only requires her to pay back $33,266.

The board voted Aug. 7 to approve the agreement and waive recovery of the remaining balance. Rifkin will need to make payments in 21 installments per year until June 30, 2023. If payments are not completed by that date, the full amount of overpayment will become due a month later.

NTHS Dist. 219 is also currently in the midst of considering a budget for 2018-2019. Board members are supportive of a plan that would not increase the tax levy. In 2016, the district raised its tax levy by 3 percent, translating to a $85 property tax increase for a homeowner with property valued at $300,000.

While local taxpayers will likely foot part of the bill due to the district’s error, NTHS Dist. 219 residents also pay for bloated administrative costs. Average administrator pay in the district is $131,238, outpacing the state average of $106,273. Additionally, the district has a student-to-administrator ratio of 91-1, also greater than the state average of 190-1. The district has seen the number administrators per student diverge from the state average after 2012, when the two were still comparable.

What we have here is a perfect example of why unions are bad for America. This union stepped in and forced the city to let this woman keep $33,000 that was not her due!

Now, if this had happened to a regular person outside of government employment, that person would have to pay back ALL the money. Let’s say a bank accidentally deposited $66K in your bank account. But you were stupid enough to go spend it all knowing full well that it was a mistake. Well, the bank sure wouldn’t care if you spent it. They would demand the money be returned and would take you to court to get it. And you would lose, too!

But that isn’t what happened in Niles, Illinois. No, in Niles a public employee union just ripped off the taxpayers for $33,000!

Sure, the union did a great job for its employee. But who is representing the taxpayers, here? Absolutely no one, that’s who. Once again, thanks to unions, the taxpayers are ripped off.

If we are ever to get a handle on our failed governments, the first thing we need to do is get rid of government employee unions. Unions are antithetical to good government. It’s jut that simple.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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