The Oakland Post last week incorrectly reported that top administrators for the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) who voluntarily resigned received up to six months of severance pay, according to a statement sent by the district to the Post.
The Post regrets the error and apologizes to former employees who were mentioned in the article but did not receive severance.
One former employee who voluntarily quit contacted the newspaper to say he had not received a payment.
According to district spokesman John Sasaki, it is not OUSD’s “practice” to pay severance to employees who voluntarily resign. However, the district acknowledges that the wording of top administrators’ contracts was unclear and was modified this year “to clarify the language.”
The district does pay some employees “to allow for termination of employment” to avoid the costs of a hearing, the statement said.
“It is not the district’s practice to pay a severance to employees who voluntarily resign from the district,” said Sasaki in an email dated Nov. 29.
“Instead, the language is intended to allow for a termination of employment by the district without cause and without incurring the costs of a hearing in exchange for a severance,” he said.
“In 2017, the district amended employment contracts to clarify this language,” he said. “We are also exploring whether to eliminate employment contracts for some staff and move to a salary schedule and strictly termination for cause and corresponding hearing.”
As the newspaper goes to press, the Post is waiting for a response from the district on a request for a list of some of the top administrators who did receive severance pay and how much they were paid.