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Former human resources chief Deberie Gomez-Grobe, one of the San Diego Unified employees who was given a golden handshake bonus to leave the school district in 2003, then later paid to come back and work for the district, is now being offered $125 per hour to help San Diego Unified negotiate with the teachers’ union.

I wrote earlier this year about the practice of rehiring employees who were paid to leave the school district, and Gomez-Grobe was one of the employees on the list. Paid to leave, then paid to return when their expertise is needed, the rehires are a hidden cost of such early retirement plans, which are intended to save money by replacing more senior, expensive employees with younger workers who earn lower salaries.

Teachers union president Camille Zombro just noted the contract offered to Gomez-Grobe when speaking to the school board, and she wasn’t happy about it. Invoking former Superintendent Alan Bersin, who repeatedly clashed with the teachers union, Zombro called hiring Gomez-Grobe a return to “Bersin era employee relations.”

School board members will decide whether to ratify the contract at their meeting today.

EMILY ALPERT

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