Monday, April 13, 2009

Ruocco vs. Leake; 4.4% may be too low for Personnel Chairman

From the NHRs Luther Turmelle:

With the head of the town’s teachers’ union sitting in the audience last week, Councilman Tom Ruocco issued a blistering indictment of last October’s contract agreement with the union that has an average raise of 4.4 percent per year in each of the next three years. Ruocco’s comments came before a 5-4 council vote to approve a $94.32 million budget for fiscal 2009-10, a spending plan that represents a $1.2 million increase over this year’s budget...

Jeff Leake, president of the Cheshire Education Association, said following the meeting that Ruocco’s criticisms of the union and the board are misguided.

“It’s not based any fact whatsoever,” Leake said.

Not based on any fact? In response to the article, a resident said to me tonight "The fact is - the country is broke!"

But in fairness to the teachers' union, the Council's Personnel Committee Chairman Matt Altieri was dishing out raises of 5% to 7% earlier this fiscal year. So I can see why the teachers' union may even feel jilted with the 4.4%.

I take a different viewpoint though from Councilman Altieri. Whether you are a member of the teachers' union or a member of Cheshire's Political Class, I don't think anybody needs to be getting these raises at a time when many people are earning less.

Finally, one other interesting comment in Turmelle's article:

Superintendent of Schools Greg Florio has said the district may have to eliminate the jobs of as many as 40 first- and second-year teachers to cope with any budget cuts by the council.

I'll be curious to see the staffing levels next September.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

I seem to recall Florio saying the same thing back in 2005 when we had a 0% budget. We now have more teachers with less students.
He must be a miracle worker.
He is also calling on his troops again to talk about the athletic programs in the high school.
Maybe we go to a high pay to play fee??

Anonymous said...

Tim, Exactly how is the "per pupil spending number" calculated? Might there be other numbers the super is excluding? Do special ed costs figure in? It would be interesting to recalculate the proper number and make sure the public is aware that what they've been told all along was wrong!

Anonymous said...

It's funny that we have not heard a peep from Mr. Leake or the teachers for three years at the budget public hearings. Why??? They got everyhting they always asked for. Now that the economy is in the tank they are fighting for every dime. Don't cry wolf all the time. Be honest.