New Teacher Contract Savings Questioned by Community

The Board of Education approves the STA contract at Tuesday's meeting, but the community wants to know if it will actually save the district money.

An contract agreement has been reached between  and the Smithtown Teachers' Association, but one community member questioned Tuesday night if the district would be saving money with the new agreement.

Local Robert Foster, who submitted a Letter to the Editor to Smithtown Patch earlier this month regarding , asked Superintendent Edward Ehmann at the latest Board of Education meeting if the district would be saving or spending money with this new agreement.

"On some issues such as the school closure the administration gave the board a number of months plus a significant amount of information to make a decision on a million dollar a year issue, closing a school. Just two weeks ago we had a vote and even today we do not know the economic impact of that vote on the new teachers contract," he said.

Ehmann provided a long-winded explanation to both Foster and the community in attendance on the economic impact the contract will have on the district, but with the dollar amounts provided the economic impact was still unclear to many in attendance.

The superintendent extended an invitation both Foster and any community member to make an appointment with the district to get a detailed breakdown of the financial impact the new agreement will have.

Following the meeting Ehmann spoke with Smithtown Patch and provided a simplified answer to Foster's question.

"If the teachers, budget to budget, had not settled then the Taylor Law would determine that they go to the next step. That would cost the district 'x' number of dollars. Now with this negotiation they agreed to just go half a step, so that compensation has been cut in half ... from budget to budget it is an increase but it's a smaller increase had there been no settlement," he said.

The  where the teachers will receive an average annual salary increase of .7 percent over the length of the contract. The contract also states there will be no increase in teacher salary for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years, a half-step increase of 1 percent and 1.25 percent respectively for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years, and a regular step increase in 2014-15 at 1.25 percent.

scsddad April 25, 2012 at 07:53 PM
The 5th year of the teachers contract with the step and schedule salary increases they will get over a 5% raise that year. With a 2% tax cap the district is going to have to cut alot of programs. Plus the first 4 years of the contract there raise alone is over the 2% tax cap each year
One Opinion April 25, 2012 at 08:53 PM
The STA contract also provides full step increases in the last year of the contract. This could mean that when the contract expires in a few years, if they should go to impasse again they will be at full step increases for as long as negotiations could go on. The average step increase is almost 4% before column changes. This contract did not bring long lasting financial sustainability to the district. I will also add to what many others have said, there should have been administrative cuts as well as a greater contribution to healthcare costs.
scsddad April 25, 2012 at 09:16 PM
I agree we need administrative cuts. But we know that won't happen in this district


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