CPS: "Blame the Computers, not the 185 Retiree Substitute Teachers"

Why does CPS always blame a computer when some things go wrong with payroll mistakes? Remember the PeopleSoft fiasco, especially with the problems CPS had with retired teacher pensions? Why didn't anyone at CPS see the overpayments to 185 'retiree' substitute teachers before it went over the $1M mark?

What's going at CPS headquarters? Why does it seem CPS is working out of cigar box, not knowing what the right and left hand are doing, and communicating with Dixie Cups on a string?

I've worked as a CPS substitute teacher with many 'retiree' subs and believe me, they go through their paychecks with the keen eye of a master jeweler to make sure they're getting their correct pay. The 'retiree' subs know they shouldn't be getting more than a 'day to day' sub rate of pay with no holiday or vacation days. Also, these 'retiree' subs check their deductions in their paychecks as to not to affect their pensions.

Isn't the 185 'retiree' subs' pensions (80% of top 5 highest 'pay' years in their last 10 years) and using their clout to work more than 'non-retiree' subs enough? Plus, since they don't pay into a pension, they now get deductions taken out for social security to help them raise their points for when they truly retire.

What schools were these 185 'retiree' subs working at and why did the administrators at these schools look the other way? Why is this information never given out? What were their positions and what position numbers were they working in? It seems the CTU and Karen Lewis should look into the positions these 'retired' subs were working as they seem to be taking jobs away from displaced and future union teachers.

CPS needs to get to the root of this latest payroll problem and when they do, I guarantee more will come up in the wash, especially since these 'retiree' subs wouldn't be able to get holiday or vacation days floating from school to school and only working at one particular school. And, I highly doubt this was an isolated incident and these overpayments to 'retiree' subs has been going on for many years. Though, with only a small staff working for the CPS Inspector General James Sullivan, it may take years.

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    Walter "Butch/Bearstradamus" Brzeski

    Life story in 50 words or so: Born in Bucktown to a middle-class family and has lived in Chicago his entire life, now residing on the far Northwest Side. Attended St. Hedwig, Lane Tech, Triton College and Eastern Illinois University. Has worked myriad jobs in the city, including many years as a bartender; is now a substitute teacher. Currently, is working on finishing his Masters in Education along with studying for his National Strength and Conditoning Association (NCSA) certification test ..................................................................................... Self-description: An avid sports fan, he describes himself as an average, "300-level guy." "I've never been a rich man, I've never been a poor man; I've been in-between." He is as much of a through-and-through Chicagoan as one will meet. He is proud of his Chicago accent and works to give back to the community. A humble man, he values a strong work ethic, which his dad instilled in him............ Writing experiences: Describes himself as the "most opinionated person in Chicago." He tries to get the average guy's voice out there, modeling his writing after the conversations he had with patrons when he was a Wrigleyville bartender. "I'm trying to let people know what is going on. Most of the things I write about, people are thinking about." He considers himself the voice for the working Chicagoan who doesn't think his opinion can be heard. His favorite topics to write about are sports and observations about what's happening in Chicago, and the two often mesh................................................................................... Unique traits: He attended EIU on a football scholarship as an offensive lineman and has been an athlete and sports fan all his life. A favorite childhood memory is racing home from school to catch Cubs games. His house is decorated with Chicago sports memorabilia; his favorite item is a letter written to him by former Bear Dan Hampton. He hopes to one day open an upscale sports bar (in Chicago, of course) and put his collection on display. — By Dan Waters, Tribune reporter

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