District clarifies severance package

By: Melanie Williamson

The Vermilion school board met on Monday, May 1, for a special meeting regarding the severance plan that was introduced. Superintendent Pempin stated that there were changes made to the “language to ensure who we want to be eligible.” Based on discussion, there appeared to be some question as to who was eligible for the severance package and who was not.

Board member Chris Habermehl asked if cleaning up the wording was the only change made. Pempin responded that it was. He went on to say that the new wording protects the district according to their attorney.

OAPSE Local #332 had already signed their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which means they were open to the severance plan proposal. John Parsons, the local OAPSE president was in attendance at the board meeting. When asked about his thoughts on the severance plan, he stated that he thought it was a good idea, but went on to say he did not think anyone would take it that wasn’t already planning to retire. He explained that there were not a lot of people within his union close enough to retirement to make it beneficial for them.

Pempin also stated to the board that the Vermilion Teachers Association (VTA) had not yet signed their Memorandum of Understanding. Representatives from the company organizing the severance plan were scheduled to start doing presentations on Tuesday, May 2, for those interested, with the enlistment period being from Tuesday, May 2 to Friday, June 16. School treasurer Suzanne Wilson stated that if the VTA does not sign the MOU, they can still offer the severance plan to members of the OAPSE union.

Habermehl asked if there was wiggle room on the dates in case the VTA signed the MOU after the May 2 presentations started and Wilson responded, “I don’t think so. We have to have it for this to work.” The president of the VTA was not available for comment.

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