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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Contract negotiations

Question: It is my understanding that a new teachers' contract is being or will be negotiated. The overall costs associated with the teachers represents the largest part of our school budget and, unfortunately, the largest increases year after year. In order to help the district's financial issues, some drastic changes need to start happening here with the new contract so we can retain teachers, provide a wide array of courses, have a sports program and other beneficial clubs and programs so B-P can produce a well-rounded student ready for the next level. Considering our district's current financial problems and the likely event that more financial problems will exist in years to come, what is the Board of Education planning to do with this new contract to minimize further strains on the district's finances and, ultimately, the education of our students?

Answer: The Board of Education and administration are currently involved in negotiations with the Broadalbin-Perth Teachers' Association (BPTA). Both sides of this negotiation -- the district and the union -- are interested in preserving programs for B-P students and containing costs, both over the short-term and long-term. New York State laws governing the relationships between public employees and their employers restrict what either party can say publicly during the negotiations process, but we can tell you that the majority of our conversations are centering on salaries and insurance costs.
- answered by Ed Szumowski, Board of Education President


  1. maxed out taxpayer9:30 PM, February 28, 2012

    Given the current fiscal crisis we are experiencing, there is only one responsible thing for the board of education to do for the taxpayers who voted for them and for whom they represent. That would be to offer a zero percent salary increase with a greater %age paid by the teachers for their health insurance and dental.

  2. That is a responsible thing to do? I think that offering a teachers no salary increase and further asking them to pay more for dental and health would be one of the worst possible things we could do for our students. As a parent of children that are in and have been in all schools in our district, I think the most responsible thing we could do is offer salary increases to the teachers with the students with the best performance in their classes. Rewarding our teachers for their hard work and excellent teaching is the BEST POSSIBLE outcome in this situation. When money is tight, should we really chop the hand of the future? Absolutely NOT! Further asking ANY ONE working in the school district to pay more for their health insurance and dental is just irresponsible. We need our teachers to be on the top of their game. I do not want a sick teacher trying to teach the serious subjects that are so difficult for our students already anymore than I want a sick bus driver driving our students to school. There are many things that can and SHOULD be cut, LONG before we start chopping what teachers we have left down to a non-competitive pay scale. REWARD OUR GOOD TEACHERS! Do not take from them! Fiscally responsible? If you want fiscally responsible we should highly consider cutting these raises for the school board and also consider why they were voted in. Fiscally responsible is saying good bye to sports that are not competitive in our area. For example: our middle school and high school football teams. Honestly, those coaches are fail to win parent support year after year. OUR TEACHERS on the other hand, do win parent support, work very hard to give our children a fighting chance in a very competitive work force and they should NEVER be at risk of pay cuts or losing their health and dental or paying more for it! It is time we really consider what is important. How many of our students are really going on with football scholarships? Have you seen any big colleges out there looking for our students? Maybe one or two a year benefit from this program if we are LUCKY! Fiscally responsible is putting the money where it belongs, EDUCATING our children. The teachers of this district are the reason that happens. Cut them down, and make their pay non-competitive and watch who is teaching our children in the future, bad, bad idea!