During the county budget hearing turned Frederick County Teachers Association pep rally on May 6, teacher after teacher spoke in reference to the school system’s lack of funding, complained about not being appreciated, and alleged that no one was receiving pay raises.
One speaker — Thurmont Middle School language arts teacher Adam Umak — earned my attention with his arrogance, self-serving and inaccurate “testimony,” and borderline circus act. He ended his theatrics by motioning to the BoCC with his hands and announcing “come on,” as if he was asking for a confrontation.
Let’s examine his act: Mr. Umak whined that Frederick County Public Schools is (will be) operating in FY 2015 using FY 2009 funding levels. I looked at the numbers for Mr. Umak’s salary from FY 2008 to FY 2014. Here is what I found:
His salary in FY 08 was $45,355, FY 09 was $48,114, FY 10 was $48,114, FY11 was $51,964, FY 12 was $51,964, FY 13 was $53,964 and FY 14 is $60,443. This equates to a 33 percent pay increase over the last seven years, or an average of just under 5 percent per year.
How is it possible that Mr. Umak has been handed a 33 percent raise during the time frame he claims funding has been flat and raises have been nonexistent? Keep in mind, this does not include top-of-the-line health insurance, holiday pay, vacation pay, retirement benefits, pension benefits, sick leave, a weeklong Christmas break, a few days for spring break, and only a nine-month work calendar. If his income was prorated for a full year’s workload, he would be making the equivalent of $84,387.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median per capita income here in Frederick County is just under $39,000. Mr. Umak makes considerably more than the median, has a benefits package that many in the private sector can only dream of, and has summers off to do with what he likes. But somehow, he still feels empowered to complain publicly that he is not getting his fair share. That’s right, Mr. Umak is not getting his fair share of your tax revenue. He wants you to believe he needs more.
Mr. Umak declared that “this BoCC has a consensual hallucination that FCPS funding can thrive in 2015 on 2009-era funding.” He also lied that “salary step increases have been eliminated.” I get it. The FCTA (union) is led by the professional whiner and tax revenue gobbler Gary Brennan, who will stop at nothing to bankrupt the taxpaying citizens of Frederick County, even if that means riling up teachers to put on a show or dragging an 8-year-old child to the podium to recite the teachers-need-more-money mantra. It is disgusting for the FCTA to use children like that, but it’s become an annual tradition.
It appears that Mr. Umak is having some sort of hallucination, is being dishonest, or perhaps he can’t do the fifth-grade math required to determine his 33 percent pay increase over the last seven years; a period of time when many in the private sector have received no raise, no benefits and no time off, except, of course, for those who were laid off.
Finally, Mr. Umak singled me out as one who misses Board of Education meetings. I am not the liaison to FCPS. However, I promise Mr. Umak this much: If I am elected to the County Council in November representing District 5, I will request to be the liaison. He will get his wish.
I will be at every meeting pointing out ways FCPS can do more with less.
KIRBY DELAUTER, Frederick County commissioner and candidate for County Council, District 5