The taxpayers probably don't know that, according to the Westerville Education Association's contract with school district, their tax dollars are being used to help fund a portion of the salary and benefits for the WEA union president. This would be fine if the president gave a portion of his time to work for the district.

To the editor:

The taxpayers probably don't know that, according to the Westerville Education Association's contract with school district, their tax dollars are being used to help fund a portion of the salary and benefits for the WEA union president. This would be fine if the president gave a portion of his time to work for the district. However, this individual, by consent of our superintendent and agreed to by our school board, has been given zero student contact time, which means he works 100 percent of the time for the union.

The district pays the full cost of Medicare taxes, medical insurance deductible, life insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance and workers' compensation for this position. According to numbers verified through the district, the union reimburses the district about 60 percent of all costs.

Total cost to taxpayers each year for paying the union president to work for the union is about $40,000. This means for at least the past two two-year contract agreements, the district has committed to spend about $160,000 of taxpayer money for this person to work full-time for the union.

After I spoke about this at a school board meeting in December, board member Cindy Crowe indicated the union president had a whole list of job responsibilities for the district.

However, I want the taxpayers to know that the administration (Curt Jackowski, executive director of human resources and employee relations) has admitted the only list of responsibilities for WEA president Chris Williams is that of a science teacher. Since Williams has an agreement giving him no student contact, he therefore has no responsibilities within the district. This is so Williams is able to carry out his duties as president of the WEA. Jackowski mentioned to me that other districts do the same thing, as if that is supposed to justify this unnecessary expenditure.

This is just a symptom of a bigger problem. It shows our board and administration have a lack of respect for the taxpayers' hard-earned money. Since the WEA union president works to obtain salary and benefit increases for the teachers union, which effectively raises the taxes of property owners, why should those taxpayers pay any portion of his salary and benefits?

This is an example of what some taxpayers would call corruption in government. This is another reason why S.B. 5 is needed in Ohio so these types of agreements are no longer negotiated in private and are not tolerated by the taxpayers. I hope the voters become informed and determined not to let the board and administration get away with agreeing to union contracts that the voters simply cannot and should not be asked to afford.

At a minimum, the taxpayer dollars should at least be used to pay people who actually work for the district.

Joanne Grose

Westerville