Sunday, November 29, 2009

Expanded Agreements

Several years ago (whew! has it really been 30 years? seems like yesterday) I participated in an intensive two-week-end course in Denver, and I have always remembered the segment on "expanded agreements."

When you have a deal with someone and then that person tries to change/expand it unilaterally, that was called an expanded agreement. I have always resisted them. They serve to increase the authority or power or rule or domination of one person over another without discussion or the making of a new agreement.

Let's say you are hired to work 40 hours/week for a certain combination of compensation, and then your boss comes to you and tells you that he "needs" you to work 45 hours/week or different days or different hours, but he will not compensate you for it. Should you object?

This morning the editors of the Northwest Herald ganged up on certain senior police officers of the Woodstock Police Department, who recently won an arbitration over a broken contract. I've already written about it here (below, November 22), and you can read the editorial at

The editors erred inexcusably when they wrote that the attorney for the cops "recognizes the grievances as nitpicky." That is not what the quote of that attorney, just above their statement, said. What the attorney said, as quoted, was, "I can see how someone could see this as nitpicky."

I suggest that the officers argued their case based on principle, not on the small monetary gain to each.

Further, the headline of the editorial is very poorly worded. "Unearned OT should go to charity."

It wasn't "unearned"; it was unpaid. And who is the editorial board to say how an employee should spend his income?

How would the editors feel if the readers began picketing in front of the NWH headquarters and demanded that the editors donate $500 each to charity?


whatmeworry? said...

I thought the Op/Ed piece was well written. The world in which I grew up (where the lawyers didn't make all the rules) said that if you got paid for work you didn't do it was unearned income. I hope the IRS catches on to the officers windfall.

Gus said...

No doubt that the compensation due to and payable to the senior officers will be fully reported by the City of Woodstock as W-2 income to them. And why not?

They were supposed to get paid for work they were supposed to do. It's not unearned income. And it's not a windfall.

whatmeworry? said...

And be sure and check with the Secretary of States office to see if your financial advisor is legitimate or a clueless quack.

Gus said...

whatmeworry?, when was the last time that YOU saved someone $75,000 in unnecessary income taxes by challenging the advice that his attorney was giving him? Quack, quack.