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Early retirement is a mess

We at The Telescope are fed up with the lack of timeliness and seriousness concerning the early retirement incentive, also known as the golden handshake, for employees at Palomar College.

Officials on campus are fighting against each other and need to reach a decision now.

The Governing Board pulled the approval of the golden handshake once again during its April 28 meeting. This is the second time the approval has been placed in limbo. It was first postponed on April 14.

May 12 is the newest date to approve or deny the golden handshake. The district is waiting until the last minute and that is lazy and irresponsible because they had two weeks to determine if the numbers would financially benefit the college.

Two weeks should have been enough time to go over the numbers and reach an agreement with all bodies on campus. We want the Governing Board to stop postponing the decision and figure it out.

Employees taking the bonus, 75 percent of their annual salary, have to retire by July 1. That gives Palomar officials only two months to find adequate replacement for all the 89 people who signed up.

If the golden handshake is denied, then will those 89 people still retire? Palomar is in a stage of confusion and chaos. We want this to be taken seriously, especially by the faculty union.

In an email from Shannon Lienhart, co-president of the union, the union proposed they will only support the golden handshake if President Robert Deegan, Vice President of Instruction Berta Cuaron and Vice President of Human Resources John Tortarolo will still retire, but not take part in the bonus.

Though The Telescope has stopped caring whether anyone will or will not exit with their bonus, we want to know our education still matters to officials at Palomar. Everyone seems to be so concerned with the golden handshake and personal afflictions with one another, they aren’t even taking the students’ education into consideration.

The Governing Board needs to make a decision that is best for the college and the students. The union and administrators need to reach an agreement for this happen. Stop being stubborn and remember the students come first, not personal vendettas and greedy bonuses.

Students need to go to the Governing Board and speak out and let their voices be heard. Enough is enough and Palomar needs to figure this mess out now. No more postponing our future at Palomar.

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