Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Florio says there will be layoffs, retirements or concessions

From the MRJs Jesse Buchanan:

School Superintendent Greg Florio recommended to the Board of Education the elimination of about 12 teaching positions from the district to satisfy lean budget requirements...

"Right now, the shuffling ends at about six to seven teachers," he said at Tuesday's board meeting. Those teachers will have to be laid off, he said, unless concessions by the union are made or more teachers retire.

I'll take wagers on staffing reductions through retirements. There will be no layoffs. Keep in mind:

1) Teachers maximize their pension at 37.5 years. I believe it's 2% / year for a maximum pension of 75% of their salary.

2) There are currently
413 teachers.

So if every teacher stayed for 37.5 years (and that'll never happen for a variety of reasons, such as a spouse relocating), you'd have 11 teachers retiring every year on average. And since teachers don't always work for 37.5 years, you'll always have more than 11 teachers leaving.

It's true that layoffs are an option. But it's far-fetched.

It's like saying the current Town Council majority will direct staff to address the two dozen town-owned take home vehicles or stop giving out raises in the range of 5% - 7% at a time when the economy is falling apart. We know it's a hypothetical possibility, but it ain't gonna happen!

Elsewhere in the article, BOE member Gerry Brittingham took it straight to the teachers' union:

he believes the unions should give concessions if their priority is the quality of education."

If the parties who have said for years, 'It's about the kids,' - if they really meant it, they would have been at the table a long time ago," Brittingham said.

"Never once did he say it was for the kids," Brittingham said. "I was glad to see Mr. Leake say what it was all about - the money."

We will need to check back in October to see how this year's October 1, 2008 number of 413 teachers compares with next year's October 1, 2009 number of teachers.

My guess is that it'll be over 400 teachers. And that would be a reduction far less than the predicted layoffs of dozens of teachers.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

He threatened this 5 years ago and what happened??
We increased the number of teachers in those 5 years while the number of students has decreased.
Will he be threatening layoffs every year?
Good for Gerry Brittingham, I like to see someone in public office stand up to the teachers union. I wonder, did Florio try to defend the union for not renegotiating? He acts more like a union member than many teachers do.

Anonymous said...

"...I like to see someone in public office stand up to the teachers union..."

Yeah, nothing like asking where did the horses go as you finally go out and lock the barn door.

When will the BOE force the school superintendent to stop grand standing and just implement the officially enacted town budget?

Anonymous said...

This brinksmanship is just stupid.

Anonymous said...

Florio NEVER taught in the classroom--he is an adminitrator through & through...cut the bejesus of of the administrators...

Anonymous said...

Layoff at least 7% and they can then get an idea of what it's like to be unemployed or worried about their job. If they had to compete, they would be unemployed.

It's not about the children, it's all about the money and sticking it to the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

There won't be any layoffs - they'll be covered by more people retiring. Back in the supposed -0- budget year, remember, no teachers were laid off yet the contractual obligations were met.

Brittingham, Behrer & Sobol want concessions from the teachers & other unions. If concessions were made, they wouldn't even be discussing activity fees, layoffs, etc.

When all the teachers line up at the microphone tonight, I hope the newer ones turn and ask the older teachers if they would take a concession or wage freeze so that their job could be saved. Let the older teacher answer point blank in public if they'd be willing to do what it takes to save their fellow teachers.

As was said, it ISN'T about the kids, it's all about the MONEY!

Anonymous said...

Florio is a joke. How stupid does he think we are? His solution to the union not giving back, not even a penny, is to give retirement incentives, and isn't that an additional reward for some teachers? It certainly makes the union look good, not only do the bulk of the teachers get their 4.3% raises and keep them, but some of teachers who would like to retire are given a big bonus. It's a win win. The board lshould refuse to give any retirement incentives and let the union and teachers deal with the stark reality that they, by their greed, force the layoffs of other teachers.

By simply talking about retirement incentives, Florio is telling them to wait for a package. WhAT THE HELL IT'S ONLY TAXPAYER MONEY. Hey, what a way to solve a problem, spent even more. And we pay this non-residenthim probably over $160,000 in salary and benefits, plus a lucrative gas allowance. We deserve better.

Anonymous said...

Hell, lay them all off. Start at the top and work your way down. Hire new teachers without unionization and start fresh. Save a few million bucks and put it to work in places we really need it.

Anonymous said...

NHR Page B2 May 1

"Union takes Cheshire School Board to Task"

Cheshire Teacher Union President, Jeff Leake, accused the school board of demagoguery and that blaming the teachers unconscionable, and said he saw no signs of recession in Cheshire, no boarded up stores or foreclosed homes.

Wow, what planet is this guy from? Does he only talk to teachers, who never had it any better. The Hell with everyone else, we got ours and we're going to keep it. People are rightfully very upset about the unreasonable 4.3% raises for 3 years. Teachers have been overpaid for too long and if they think they can do better, then go. We need people who really want to teach and not the one that are in it only for the money.

Mr. Leake's only proposal is to offer an incentive for retirement. This will simply cost the taxpayers more money and is not a concession. This is the worst thing that the board could do, it costs more and the students will really suffer unless you believe all teachers are interchangeable.

It's time to outsource and get motivated teachers who are not held back by union bosses.

Anonymous said...

I take issue with Leakes statement that the recession has not affected Cheshire since we have the 3rd lowest unemplyment rate in New Haven county and we have fewer foreclosures.
How dare he say that!
Perhaps the teachers in our town will be the only ones not affected by the recession...they seem to be the only ones making more money.

Anonymous said...

Leake aught to check Realty Trac website for foreclosures in Cheshire

Anonymous said...

Remember when the teacher contract was agreed upon? See the NHR article.

Jeff Leake at the time said,"The uncertainty caused by the nation’s economic free-fall of recent weeks may have been a factor in the settlement".

Now he says Cheshire is a rich town and can afford it.

Jeff is also the Treasurer of the Connecticut Education Association and as such he would not look good making any concession.

I ran into Jeff's website for his campaign to become the president of the CEA. Go to it.

The election is May 2, 2009. He has his January campaign speech on the site. It is really interesting, it doesn't mention education or children. It has no goals of improving education. It only addresses the interests of the members, and that is why there will not be any concessions or any desire to share any pain opf the recession, it's only about the money and Mr. Leake's political goals.