Question: How about not giving raises, especially to administration, considering that they make very good salaries as it is? Also, do we really need assistant principals and assistant superintendents? And how about cutting some benefits, such as health care, or making employees pay a bit more for copays?
Answer: Earlier this year, district leaders asked each employee union to consider taking a one-year pay freeze, and told union leaders that the district would not institute a pay freeze unless all unions agreed to accept it. This decision came from a desire for fairness: It would not be right for some district employees to receive a raise while others did not. Although not all unions agreed, the administrators' union was one that offered to freeze their salaries for one year.
As for the question about assistant principals and assistant superintendents, the first thing you should know is that we only have one of each. Our high school assistant principal, Adam Barnhart, oversees discipline and building operations -- including special events such as homecoming and the prom -- and assists with testing and other aspects of running the high school. In addition to those duties, Mr. Barnhart also serves as the district's athletics director, overseeing our entire interscholastic athletics program. Marco Zumbolo, our assistant superintendent, oversees the district's $28 million budget in addition to supervising the transportation, buildings and grounds, and food service departments.
You also asked about health benefits. Under the Triborough Amendment to the state's Taylor Law, it would be illegal for the school district to make any changes to the benefits agreed to in any of our employee contracts. That being said, last year, the Broadalbin-Perth Teachers' Association (BPTA) agreed to make changes to the health insurance offerings in its contract in order to save the jobs of some of its members. Additional changes to the BPTA's contract, such as having members pay more for their copays, will be a topic of negotiation when the contract expires in 2012; benefits for all employees will be negotiated when each union's contract expires.
- answered by Stephen Tomlinson, District Superintendent
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