Double dipping a useful tool for Irvine teachers

Double Dipping

You have heard about situations where a government employee retires but is then hired back, often without benefits, or goes to work for another government agency. The result is that this person draws a government retirement check plus a government salary.

A lot of outrage and anger has been generated over this practice, especially in these times when the number of unemployed is high and many who are employed wonder if they are next to receive a pink slip. Cries of “unfair” and “sleazy” and “it ought to be illegal” fill bogs and letter to the editor columns over this practice, not to mention providing a feast for anti-government editorial writers and columnists.

Then comes a story in the November 19 Orange County Register headlined “69 Irvine Unified teachers sign up for early retirement.” The story details how the Irvine Unified School district, a government agency, is encouraging its senior staff to double dip.

The District has encouraged teachers to retire at the end of the current semester, but to keep on teaching the next semester at pay of $199 per day. This means that both a retirement and a pay check will be drawn for the spring semester of 2010. That’s double dipping.

But wait; there is more of an incentive than just drawing two checks for 6 months or so. The article reports that the District will also pay teachers entering into this deal a lump sum payment equal to 95 percent of their yearly salary. 2010 would be a highly compensated year for these government employees – a retirement check, a paycheck for 5 months or so of teaching, and a onetime payment equal to 95 percent of their annual pay.

Why would a government agency offer its senior employees such a deal other than being driven by the malfeasance government haters so earnestly believe exists everywhere in government? The article says that by doing this the School District can save an estimated $ 1 million net, after the expense of the one year pay bonus. That’s why.

There will be those who will charge that the School District has cooked the books, this cannot save money, it is some kind of sweetheart deal or give-away. That kind of bias is what it is. But, for those who support decisions based upon financial analysis, it sounds like this is an example where double dipping by government workers is a good thing.

About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.