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TRS rejects Mosely contract

Butch Mosely

Butch Mosely

ALBANY — Dougherty County School System Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely on Tuesday agreed to work at 49 percent salary until July 1, 2014, after the Teacher Retirement System of Georgia (TRS) rejected the latest contract proposal from the DCSS and Mosely.

The district and the TRS have been haggling over his contract status for the past two weeks.

Mosely issued the following statement on Tuesday:

“In an effort to fully comply with the rules and regulations of Georgia Teacher Retirement, I have decided my best option is to continue my role as interim superintendent as a part-time contract employee of the board, known in education as a “49-percenter,” through June 30, 2014. Parents, students and citizens can rest assured I will continue to give my best effort to improve the school district. I have communicated by the email to board members, below, my desire to continue serving in the capacity of interim superintendent.”

Earlier, Mosely had sent DCSS Board members the following email:

Board Members:

This is to inform you that the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia did not accept the employment contract amendment you approved at the October 7th meeting. I have discussed this matter with (DCSS attorney Tommy) Coleman and have asked him to prepare another amendment that provides for the following:

· The employment cannot exceed 49% of the full-time hours of the position

· A monthly salary of $7,145.83 (49% of the established full-time rate, per my original contract)

· Reimbursement of actual living expenses (rent, travel, utilities, cable TV and internet)

Not only do I feel these proposed contractual arrangements will prove satisfactory to TRS and will allow us to proceed with the business of school improvement, I also feel the approval of these changes will provide some relief for those of you who are receiving negative feedback regarding my salary.

Earlier this year, Georgia passed HB 208, which sets strict return to work provisions and limits the number of hours a member of the Teacher’s Retirement System of Georgia (TRS) can work. The law, which applied retroactively, states that retirees cannot draw full pay longer than nine months per year. Mosley’s maximum was reached on Sept. 30.

Mosely was retired from the state when he began work as the DCSS’s Interim Superintendent in January.

According to the TRS website, members who have negotiated a return to work employment contract have been notified that, “retirees who are currently under an employment which extends beyond June 30, 2013, will be required to terminate or suspend their TRS retirement benefit.”

Mosely currently draws $154,000 per year from the TRS, and his original one-year deal with the DCSS paid him $175,000 annually (or $14,583 per month with no benefits.) His agreement to work for $7,145 per month plus reasonable expenses, would fall below that 49 percent threshold.

“I agreed to work at 49 percent because I was getting tired of the crap and I want to finish the job we’ve started here. It was becoming a distraction” Mosely said Tuesday. “To be honest, we have more important things to worry about right now because there are going to be some rocky days ahead.”

School board member Darrel Ealum was also blunt in his assessment of the situation.

“I think it makes us as Board of Education members look stupid,” Ealum said. “We sent three draft copies of an unsigned contract to the TRS trying to search the realm of possibilities. Now that the superintendent has agreed to 49 percent, I hope we can move on.”

Coleman said late Tuesday afternoon that he thought the latest amended contract will be accepted by the TRS, but it will still have to be approved by the school board.

“I absolutely think the new contract will end this issue,” said Coleman.