City Controller: School District Owes Past Employees $6.6M

An audit found that more than 2,300 former unionized workers have yet to receive their termination pay.

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Photo | Jeff Fusco

A report from the city controller claims the School District of Philadelphia owes thousands of its former employees more than $6 million in termination pay.

The audit, which was released on Tuesday, found that the school district has not met labor agreements with 2,300 of its former unionized employees, who are entitled to termination pay for unused leave time within 30 to 75 days after leaving the district. 

City controller Alan Butkovitz says the district owes $4.1 million to those ages 55 and over and $2.5 million to those under 55.

“There are laws in place to ensure that former employees are paid what they are rightly owed,” Butkovitz said in a statement. “The School District needs to dedicate the necessary resources to clean up the significant backlog of unprocessed payments.”

Pa. law mandates that compensation unclaimed for more than two years is subject to the custody of the Commonwealth. The district should have turned over $2.3 million to the state at the end of the 2016 fiscal year, according to the audit.

School District chief financial officer Uri Monson told Philly.com that, as a result of layoffs in past years, the district is short on financial staff members, who process claims. Butkovitz found that more than half of the employees who are owed termination pay left the district more than five years ago, and some left as long ago as 2001.

Monson said on Twitter that the audit reveals “a serious concern, and one we are committed to resolving.”

You can view the full audit on the city controller’s website.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.

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