February 12, 2016

Erickson denied $10,000 severance from WB-RC

Union files grievance


WEST BRANCH — The West Branch-Rose City Board of Education denied a request for a $10,000 severance package from former teacher Neal Erickson, who resigned from his position after being charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. The rejection from the board caused the union to file a grievance on Erickson’s behalf.

Erickson was charged with CSC in December 2012 after the findings of a Michigan State Police investigation linked him to the crime. He pleaded guilty May 8 and was sentenced July 10 to 15-30 years in prison. Erickson’s resignation was effective May 8, but not approved by the board until its May 20 meeting.

According to Superintendent Dan Cwayna, a $10,000 buyout offer was made to all of the teachers last year for a resignation.

Cwayna said although according to the union, Erickson did meet the standards of the agreement, the board did not believe he should receive the payment.

“Mr. Erickson did qualify for the terms of that agreement,” he said. “The board and myself do not feel that he does qualify for the $10,000, and so right now we have ongoing discussions with the union regarding the $10,000 payment to him and it’s right now part of a grievance process that the union has filed on behalf of Mr. Erickson.”

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