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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Is there an update on a potential pay freeze for staff?

Question: I am wondering what came of the BOE and the Superintendent, meeting with the  bargaining units, concerning a pay freeze for 2011/2012? Were the attempts again unsuccessful?

As a tax payer, I can confidently say there are many many residents of Broadalbin who absolutley do not want the BOE to make any deals with the bargaining units, unless they are ethical and are 100% in the best interest of the school and tax payers. If the BPTA is not strongly pushed by their union members to accept a 100% pay freeze for 2011/2012, with no stipulations, then more teachers should be terminated, raise the number of children in the classrooms, do what we need to do. As tax payers we need to stand together on this; the teachers are not budging! I would strongly appreciate this being posted on the tax payer funded Plain Talk.
-submitted by Kellie Whitman

Answer: Mrs. Whitman, thank you for your message. The Board of Education and BPTA were unable to arrive at a cost saving agreement that would serve the interests of the district and its taxpayers. Negotiations are under way with the CSEA that we hope will lead to a successful contract ratification in the next week.

It is the firm position of the board that all employees must continue the primary function of the district - education - to the best of their abilities within the budget we've attempted to produce. Maintaining professional decorum is essential to this task as hundreds of people must work together. Such decorum and successful cooperation are less likely if the object pursued is retribution (firing more teachers for not taking a freeze).

It may be impossible to avoid emotional responses in times of stress. However, we ask you to please keep in mind that the students will bear the cost of actions by the adults. Let us not compound those costs.

The current system of negotiations between school districts and unions is broken and inherently adversarial; this damages professional relationships and (clearly) relationships with the community. It is our keen desire that the education of students not be adversely affected too.

I repeat a previously stated sincere request that energy be directed toward advocating for reform of the laws that govern public sector employment, like the Taylor Law. Only such reforms can change the nature of employer/employee relationships in New York state and lead to substantial changes in the way business is done in school districts. The Board must operate within these rules, provide for the education of students, and be accountable to taxpayers.

Where we have failed we ask your continued patience; we're attempting to overcome a broken system. Where we have succeeded we ask your support.
-answered by Ed Szumowski, Board of Education Vice President

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