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Thursday, April 4, 2013

CCS HR Director resigns...

 CCS HR Director resigns...
The current “Executive” HR Director did not qualify for the job as it was posted initially for “HR Director”.  I have the job posting for the "Director of Human Resources" position when it was initially posted after the previous HR Director announced she would retire.  Once she decided to put her hat in the ring for the job however, the job posting was changed to lower the requirements and it looks to me like it was worded to ensure that she got the job, which she did (surprise, surprise!).  I have copies of both job postings, her resume, and the rest of the applicants resumes from my FOIA requests, so I know…  In my opinion, all of the other candidates' qualifications surpassed her qualifications.  Her hiring/promotion was “sold” to the school board by then superintendent, Dr. Al Roberts, as a way to “retain a valued employee (she had been the public relations director) whose job was being eliminated” and to give her “an opportunity to grow into the job”.  Is that what a large school system should be doing with a position as important as the Human Resources Director? 

This happened under Dr. Robert's administration and it was his choice to decide who got the job.  She did not have a Master's degree in HR as the original job posting required.  She didn’t even have a Bachelor's degree in HR (her Bachelors was in Public Relations).  For HR education, all she had was a couple of classes...  At one Board meeting she advised that she successfully handled HR for one or more of her husband’s companies - Aaron Banach Enterprises, Polestar Construction of Michigan, Polestar Construction of Florida, Polestar Marine Energy, Inc., and/or Polestar Energy.  I don't deny that she probably DID do some HR work and get involved with some contracts while working with her husband’s companies.  I don’t know a lot about those companies, but I know they are not school systems and doubt they dealt with complex, high dollar union contracts.  At CCS School Board meetings, she brought “contracts” forward to the board for approval that consisted of just the alterations to previous or current contracts (not the whole contracts with updates) and she did not provide the existing contracts to the board.  When the board members asked for the entire contract with the changes noted on them because they had no way to check the contracts, I remember her telling the board that this was the way she handled contracts for her husband’s company and besides, there wasn't time for that - they could look them up…  Yikes!  I also recall that when the board requested that she have the district’s attorneys check over and approve contracts before they were presented to them for approval, she argued that it was not necessary.  REALLY!?!?  

Dr. Rock advised me that he promoted her to the “Executive” HR Director” (from HR Director) last year.  I never saw any announcement, but I noticed the change on the district's organization chart.  Dr. Rock apparently wanted to give her a hefty raise with the promotion while the rest of the employees had no raises for several years or huge pay cuts with no raises for several years.  This action was politically charged and did nothing good for Dr. Rod Rock, nor the “Executive” HR Director (who lobbied very hard to the board for her raise during one highly charged board meeting).  At school board meetings where the proposed “Master Agreement for Directors and Supervisors” contract was being discussed, Rod Rock danced around the subject of how much the “Executive” HR Director would be paid.  He never answered the questions.  Then certain Rod Rock Rubber stamp board members attacked the board members who were asking the questions by saying they were “not supporting the Directors and Administrators in the district” and addressed their questions and concerns as “micromanaging”. 

According to the board packet from the 3/25/13 school board meeting (available here) in which the HR Director’s resignation was on the personnel changes part of the agenda, her salary was referenced as $91,150.00 (as it should have been under her employment contract as "HR Director"), but the “Master Agreement for Directors and Supervisors” contract reflected that her position, identified as “CO Exec Dir” had the following base salary levels:
  • “level 1 (first year) - $105,901 (16.1% increase),
  • level 2 (second year) - $108,924, (19.5% increase),
  • level 3 (third year) - $112,300 (23.2% increase),
  • level 4 (fourth year) -  $116,009 (27.3% increase), 
  • and level 5 (fifth year or higher) - $118,699” (30.2% increase).   
The board members could not get a confirmation as to what salary level she would fall under...  Would it based on the year she became the HR director, the year she "earned" her promotion to "Executive HR Director", or once the contract was approved in 2013?  The contract was approved by the board at the 02/04/13 meeting and is available here on the 02/04/13 board packet (pages 38 to 63).

The board discussion from the meetings regarding the contract was captured by Dr. Rock's secretary on the minutes of the 1/21/13 and 2/4/13 board meetings.  Those comments are available on pages 6 and 12 of the minutes from the 1/21/13 and 2/4/13 board meetings that are on the 02/25/13 school board meeting board packet available here.  

Anita Banach is leaving the district to be the Director of Personnel Services for Macomb Community College (approved by the MCCC board on 3/19/13).  She will be working much closer to home and it appears to be a nice job improvement for her.

Her apparent last act as the HR director in CCS was pushed through the school board on 3/25/13.  Time will tell how much of a good or bad thing it was. However, it may end up costing the district more than the $2 million dollar OOPS! that she had on the medical benefits miscalculation this year.  It is on pages 114 to 119 of the 3/25/13 school board packet (available here) and consists of an Agency Fee Agreement for each of the following employee contract groups: 

Clarkston Education Association
Clarkston Office Personnel Association
Clarkston Transportation Association
Clarkston Custodial Association
Clarkston Paraeducators Association

My understanding is that the Agency Fee Agreement was put in place to keep the "Agency Shop" (read: union shop) resulting in the employees having to pay dues to the union through June 30, 2016.  Because Michigan officially became a "right to work state" on 3/28/13, no employment contracts signed 3/28/13 or later can no longer have a mandate that workers belong to a union in order to work for the employer.  However, what Mrs. Banach brought forward for the board to approve was just the "Agency Fee Agreements" for each of the union contracts and not the whole labor agreements because they have not yet been negotiated.  There was discussion at the meeting that this was a deliberate "bypass" of the right-to-work law and that the district may end up forfeiting operating funds for signing these "contracts" (that are not the whole contract) two days before the RTW law went into effect.  Wow...  Just wow!


  1. Good Work! Transparency and facts are the hallmark of a good administration and Clarkston administration is not adept at either.

    You should look at the job duties and qualifications of the IT Director as he was another Dr. Roberts appointee. His handling of the tech portion of the failed bond issue suggests a lack of administrative training combined with a lack of technical expertise. What qualifies him to be so highly paid when his job should have been contracted out long ago???

    Keep up the good work.

  2. While you're at it. Why don't you look at the Operations Department. The Director of Operations and the Supervisor of Facilities and Energy. Rumor has it, The supervisor of Facilites and Energy is wanting to cut $60,000.00 off the budget next 2013/14 school year from the grounds dept,maintenance dept and Head custodians.I think we should get rid of her position.. Why do we need two??

  3. Anon,

    I agree on both IT and Ops/Facilities/Energy suggestions. There is a need for the workers, not increases in bosses.