Wednesday, December 23, 2009

BOE / CEA contract negotiations

The NHRs Luther Turmelle reports on the BOE trying to renegotiate existing union contracts:

With the release of the town’s school budget just two weeks away, the Board of Education is talking with officials of the local teachers union about the possibility of concessions.

The Board of Education and the Cheshire Education Association agreed to a three-year deal on Oct. 2, 2008, that calls for an average raise of 4.4 percent per year. Three weeks after the agreement was announced, “the U.S. economy went in the tank,” Tod Dixon, the board’s vice chairman, said Tuesday.

I have a slightly different take on the timing of the vote. Last April I compiled a timeline of the US economy througout 2008, including the runup to the Council vote on the Teachers' Union contract.

The article concludes:

Republican Councilman David Schrumm warned Florio last week during a budget workshop that district officials need to act decisively this year to resolve the issue. “We need to know sooner rather than later if this is going to happen,” Schrumm said.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

There may be some form of concessions from the CEA but it will be minimal. If anything, I bet there will be a pay hike freeze (no givebacks) in 2010-2011, at best. Additionally, there's been rumor around implementing a health savings account plan with the union in order to bring down the costs of health care about $250K. The problem with this is that it's completely voluntary and it's unlikely the union is going to force their members to utilize it.

However, even with concessions I predict that the 2010-2011 education budget is going to increase over the current fiscal year by about 3-4% or $2-3M. The budget will not include layoffs or the elimination of actual positions be it maintenance, teaching or administrative. It may look like some 'positions' may be eliminated but they're not being eliminated from the budget. The dollars will still be there and be funneled (hidden) into other accounts as is customary each year.

The administration is going to justify paying for the increase via the rainy day fund and/or a mill rate increase touting the town's strong tax collection rate.

Same tactics, different year. Let's see what this quasi-new BOE and new TC does with it.

Anonymous said...

Give me a break. Nobody on the BOE had any clue in what direction the economy was going when this contract was proposed in "08. If it was unclear then they should of thought about it a little and not go out three years. What were they thinking? The Majority of the old TC didn't want to spend $20,000 to go to arbitration. Look around and see what is happening. Our Boe and TC had no vision and mostly all we not re-elected. Mr leake was also not re-elected. Now the unions must realize that this is a big problem and must honestly look at their contract. Some consessions must be made because we will go the way of other Towns and go into the "RED". Please work this out.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the BOE ought to have asked a few questions before signing the town's life away. Bear Stearns had already failed before even the BOE signed off. And the TC voted for this after Lehman Brothers failed. How much more evidence of an economic collapse did they need?

Thankfully the voters issued their own pink slips in November

Anonymous said...

2:00 There already is the HSA (Health Savings Account)option for coverage. There aren't that many that are enrolled in it.

Tony Perugini said...

Merry Christmas everyone! I guess this is as good as a thread to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. :-)

I read through the article and the comments here. Frankly, I do not know what the 2010-2011 budget proposal is yet but I will find out on 1/7 at Town Hall when Dr. Florio presents his budget to the BOE.

Is the BOE aware of all the factors going into the budget i.e. economy, revenue shortfalls, taxes, student enrollment, contracts, etc? You bet we are. As Peter Massey was quoted in a recent article as saying "everything has to be out on the table" and I promise you that I'll do my best to make certain that actually happens. If there was ever a time for transparency in our budget, it's now.

I expect that many folks will be attending the budget meetings in January, there will be many. We need residents to attend the meetings and ask the hard questions, ask for specifics.

The budget meetings are as follows:

1/7/2010 - Presentation of Super's Budget 7:30pm at Town Hall

1/12/2010 - Public Budget Review #1 7:30pm Dodd Middle School

1/14/2010 - Public Budget Review #2 7:30pm Dodd Middle School

1/19/2010 - Public Informational Meeting/Board Member Responses to Superintendent’s Budget/Adoption of a Board of Education Budget, if possible

1/21/2010 - BOE Business Meeting 7:30pm Town Council Chambers

I hope to see you at the upcoming meetings and, as always, feel free to contact me with questions/concerns/ideas you may have for the BOE.

Happy Holidays!

Tony Perugini
Board of Education

tim white said...

Tony - thanks for the info. And remember that you're always invited to guest host.