The Yonkers Board of Education Exacts a Culture of Theft

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New York State Workers’ Compensation Law § 32 Hezitorial

YONKERS, NY — November 25, 2019 – At first we revealed the theft of students’ General Obligation bank accounts that are routinely robbed their savings at the end of every school year.

Yonkers Public School District / Yonkers City Hall Engaged in Extorting / Stealing Money From High School Students To The Tune Of $9,168 Every Year By HEZI ARIS

Bronxville Tribune / Yonkers Tribune / Mount Vernon Tribune / Westchester Tribune Publisher / Editor-at-Large and WHYT Radio’s Westchester On the Level Host Hezi Aris.

Now we reveal another theft, that of accruels that have been earned by the teaching staff yet denied to them in silence. Most teachers are kept unaware, even those who retire are not informed they are owed money. One has to wonder how and by whom did this culture of theft of services rendered was deemed appropriate. From what code of ethics handbook did the Yonkers Board of Education / Yonkers Public School District ascribe to extol the virtue of theft. While teachers are unwittingly robbed of the value of the services they rendered, who is pocketing the value of the services they rendered? Into what accounts are these sums funneled. Who controls such accounts? How and why has this conduct escaped becoming known to Nick DeSantis, Executive Partner of the Government Service Division in the auditing /CPA firm of PKF O’Connor Davies. 

DeSantis has 35 years of claimed experience in handling many aspects of governmental finances and operations, from budgeting to strategic planning. DeSantis is Senior Executive Partner of the Government Service Division, a former Yonkers City Manager and Commissioner of Finance. DeSantis says, “I have the experience to serve as a close advisor on financial matters to both appointed and elected government officials.” During his career, Nick has held a number of high-level governmental positions with the City of Yonkers; past roles include City Manager, Budget Director, and Commissioner of Finance. He also previously served as Fiscal Manager for the Counties of Orange, Rockland, Duchess, and Westchester.

Based on DeSantis’ bona fides how could the City of Yonkers Finance Commissioner John Liszewski not have been aware of these ongoing thefts? Who was first to permit and authorized this travesty? 

Who will take responsibility for this conduct? More importantly, who will bring about corrective change? How long will it take to remedy? 

For every year a teacher is employed by the Yonkers Board of Education, by contractual agreement, a certain number of days are set aside into a “sick bank”. Fifteen (15) days every year are deposited into a “sick bank”. In a sense, this “sick bank” can be likened to one’s personal account where one deposits value for every year worked. Should one become injured while on the job, the employee may use days deposited into their “sick bank” to draw a salary for that day or days they were unable to perform their responsibility as a teacher.

When a teacher is incapable of performing his/her duty as a teacher on any given day / days, a substitute teacher is required. The substitute is paid; and so is the teacher who is unable to fulfill his / her responsibility that day or days. By extracting the earned days placed in one’s “sick bank”, the person not able to attend to his / her class depletes a day or days from their “sick bank”. The days accumulated in that “sick bank” were earned for services rendered and hold value and are contractually part of the teacher’s earned salary on a prorated basis.

Whenever a teacher is not able to able to attend to their class due to an injury that took place while on the job for a day or days, that teacher is paid from their “sick bank” that has been building over the years. Whether a teacher is out for a day or days, the Yonkers Public School District advises the City of Yonkers, who in turn informs its insurance carrier UMR and its Workers Compensation Attorneys Edson, Cherry, and Kelly, who in turn petition the New York State Workers Compensation Board to render an award payable to the city of Yonkers for the days the injured worker used from their accrued “sick bank” for their related injury. Once the calculations have been determined, the City of Yonkers receives a payment. It is from that payment that the injured worker is to receive a prorated number of their sick days restored. The employee does not receive a cash payment for those days but the prorated number oF restored sick days (accruals) which carry the full weight of the employees full days’ salary. If upon retirement those days are not used, the employee may cash them in at an arranged price according to the contract. Whenever a teacher is not able to able to attend to their class due due to an injury that took place while on the job for a day or days, that teacher is paid from the “sick bank” that has been building over the years. Whether a teacher is out for a day or days, the Yonkers Public School District advises the City of Yonkers, who in turn informs UMR, its insurer. UMR in turn presents the New York State Workman’s Compensation Board (NYS WCB) with the number of day(s) the teacher was out upon their return to work. Upon review by the NYS WCB, the NYS WCB reimburses the Yonkers Public School District the value of the days used from the “sick bank”, which turn is divided at a pro rated valuation of 20 percent for any given day(s) to the employee and the other 80 percent is returned to the Yonkers Public School District, a department of the City of Yonkers. The prorated valuation portion of 20% is returned to the employee, deposited into their “sick bank”, described as restoring prorated days to the “sick bank”. It is not awarded as a check to the employee.

Should “sick bank” days ever become totally depleted, the teacher would thereafter be covered by Workman’s Compensation, although it would be valued at a lesser and different formula. 

Whatever the length of time it may take for the Workman’s Compensation Board (NYS WCB) to conclude its findings, notice is sent by the NYS WCB to the City of Yonkers with respect to the case and the award afforded by the NYS WCB on behalf of a said employee. The award to the employee should be noticed to them but rarely is. Cases can languish at the YBoE for years, even over a decade in time without ever informing the employee. Should the employee retire, and had not returned to work prior to retirement, they often do so without being informed that they are due money awarded to them on a pro rated basis while they were out sick that is still outstanding and owed to them.

The City of Yonkers, the Yonkers Board of Education Department is also responsible to pay the employee a dollar value of 20% above the total dollar amount for each 10 day period past the dates the City of Yonkers and its pertinent departments did not restore the employees accrued award(s). The takeaway is succinct and simple, it is seemingly theft of services rendered exacerbated by procrastination and delay over any and all awards granted.

It also seem incongruous that each employee is not presented with a yearly report of their accrued “sick bank” valuations and what other filings upon their behalf are still outstanding. Each date of restored accruals should be acknowledged and divulged to the employee with the amount of the award, the date of value received, and a timely acknowledgment of what had transpired and when, similar to a bank account.

All written above is validated in Sub-Section 32 of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Law (WCL) that informs that no agreement waiving an employee’s right to Workers’ Compensation benefits is valid unless and until it is approved by the Workers’ Compensation Board pursuant to WCL § 32.

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Over 1,000 Yonkers Public School (YPS) Students Are Not Inoculated


eHeziThe Yonkers Board of Education Exacts a Culture of Theft

Comments 32

  1. The mayor runs the school board, the irony. Mike Spano barely graduated Sacred Heart High School and he is in charge of Yonkers Public Schools.

  2. In any successful school system, you will find a family support network. It is not teachers alone that educate child. How many parents help with homework, attend PTA meetings or “teach” civics at home? How many graduates from Yonkers’ high schools could pass a civil service test, a job for life? Parents must be the main factor in building a school budget not politicians. Why do parents allow BoE to spend over $30million on Busing?

    1. There is not much of a choice on bussing. There are no longer any neighborhood schools. In fact Yonkers is short 4,500 seats for students. Yonkers is also reimbursement $26 million in transportation aid. YPS has budget $34 million for transportation.
      Ron Matten

      1. Are you asserting an $8 million deficit on busing alone? Then there is the deficit for unpaid breakfast/lunch school programs over the past two years and we will likely add on another 1.5 million more to the deficit on the food program.—- Kindly, Hezi.

        If you can, please direct an email to me advising me of more on this deficit. . First send me a message in the subject matter … TEST … I will send you a response so that our communication is totally encrypted from any prying eyes. — Kindly, Hezi

        1. Not advising of a deficit. According to the latest budget, YPS expects to receive intergovernmental transfers of $26 million to cover transportation. Bussing cost the local taxpayer only $8 million. These are budgeted amounts and not a actual numbers. Throughout my posts. I defend the need for robust school funding. Better schools increase property values. However, I do believe there is much waste and the District could do a better job in providing services at a lower cost.
          Ron Matten

  3. Yonkers is a city of hills where NOTHING is on the LEVEL. It’s ALWAYS been THIS WAY-WILL always stay THIS WAY.
    some things NEVER CHANGE

      1. Yes, $600 million is not enough for the needs of the district. 78% of the students are on free and reduced lunch, which means an overwhelming number of students are starting at a disadvantage. There are tens of millions of dollars in deferred maintenance. This is a district with decades of neglect.
        There is also a fair amount of waste, which is true for the City government as a whole. The Board of Trustees needs to show some leadership and start auditing departments to ensure taxpayer money is properly utilized. Even with eliminating waste, we need a greater investment in our schools and a greater investment by NYS.
        Ron Matten

  4. Foil teacher attendance and salaries of teachers in district 5+ years. Starting salary is 65K. With OT they make 80+ their first year. Veteran teachers make 6 figures mostly. They work 185 days for that 6 figure salary and most take off Mondays and Fridays making their weekends 4 days. Who has a better gig than that? If you ask them for 1 day to stay an hour extra to help Kids they say sorry I don’t get paid. And 90% of them won’t live in Yonkers so they don’t have to send their kids to our schools.

      1. That is not substantiated by public records.
        Public records indicate that a Trustee contributed $10,958 over multiple years, starting in 2014. He has given much more to other candidates. That is not an outlandish amount. No other Trustee has given more. Most have given a few hundred dollars, if any. We have a right to contribute to to the candidates of our choosing. I don’t think anyone is trying to buy a volunteer job. We should be thankful that there are those in our community willing to volunteer.
        Ron Matten

        P.S. Truncated somewhat-Kindly Hezi

          1. Being a Trustee does not strip you of your first amendment rights. In fact, a trustee mounted a successful campaign for state assembly. Political contributions are a guaranteed right upheld by the Supreme Court.

      2. we will be putting together a comprehensive file of events, dates, and a list of contributions including his network of pay to play stay tuned pal.

  5. Yonkers teachers are some of the biggest crooks and cry babies in Yonkers.

    They make a ton of money, only work 180 days a year and have more support staff than you can imagine.

    Catholic School teachers are the real heros of education when they teach larger class sizes by themselves and have much better success rates than their public school counterparts.

    YPS should be turning out Mensa candidates for the money Yonkers spends per child.

    And while we are at it let’s discuss the bussing that mayor bloated said he was going to end during his first campaign. I guess the bus companies funnelled enough money to the spano machine to keep their contracts and to keep Yonkers roadways filled with the yellow menace.
    Yonkers is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own school. When the consent decree was signed it acknowledged that the same education could be obtained from schools on the east side and the west side so why the need to bus any longer ?
    One of the best ways to instill pride in your neighborhood is a community school that is the center of the community !

    1. Nobody becomes a teacher to get rich, particularly in YPS. I have worked in schools for 30 years and teachers are some of the most selfless people whom I have met. Catholic and private schools can be selective. Public schools are required to take every one. It can cost $100,000 to educate a special needs child. That is a child that must be educated by YPS, but will be refused by the Diocese.

      1. Depends on what you mean by “rich”. Almost every YPS teacher with experience makes over $125K for 10 months of work. There’s no doubt that most teachers aren’t necessarily in it for the money, but it is a lucrative job with summers off. It is a difficult that should be rewarded, and it is.

    2. It’s impossible to fully implement neighborhood schools, there aren’t enough schools on the west side of the city to handle it. It’s simple, the schools are spread out, the home location of the majority of the students aren’t. Maybe if more parents on the east side weren’t so scared to send their kids to public school, you could have community schools. A few more schools on the west side would allow for that to happen.
      Read the YPS documents, a large percentage of seats are already set aside for children who live in their home school zone.

      1. There aren’t enough schools period. Yonkers is over enrolled by 4,600 students. You can do a version of neighborhood schools , but we will always need some bussing. We do get reimbursed from NYS for a good portion of our busing.

      2. Really 65% of the YPS students grades 3-8 are unable to obtain a passing grade in the two core subjects-on the High School side sure the graduation rates are up but that is because they have lowered the bar necessary to graduate-how many are actually college ready-you never hear these things from the powers to be at the BOE.

        1. Yonkers SAT scores, for the 12th graders that even take the exam, are in the bottom 10 percentile for the state! Yes, graduations rates are up, but the majority of Yonkers students are abysmally deficit compared to their peers across Westchester. Some bragging rights Mr Mayor and Doctor Q!!! Keep spinning your spin.

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