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DID YOU KNOW: Rocky Point Teachers Negotiating Contract

Here's how teachers can make it about the kids.

DID YOU KNOW:   The Rocky Point School District teachers have been working without a contract since September 2011. A new contract is currently being negotiated.

So this is the time to put the kids first. All they have to do is negotiate a contract that doesn’t ask for more!

 Here some ways to help the district provide the same level of education without increasing the tax burden:

  • Instead of taking both a salary increase and their annual step increase, they can take just one of them. (For those of you who don’t know what the step increases are, they are salary increase teachers get just for working another year.)
  • Instead of paying for only 15% of their health insurance, they can pay 10% more. (Since the district’s cost for health insurance is $6.8 million, this would save more than enough to keep full-day kindergarten.)
  • Instead of taking the 12 sick days annually in their contract, they could take one less. (I don’t know how much this would save, but it would certainly help.)  Currently a teacher can roll over sick days from year to year up to 190 days and when they retire they will get paid for all these days! And since they work 180 days a year, they would be paid more than one year’s salary!
  • And let’s not forget the administrators: They could step up and do some of these same things. (Miller Place School District administrators have agreed to pay $3000-$4000 more toward their health insurance.)
  • And, of course, everyone could agree to take a pay freeze for a year.  Many other public workers (especially on the federal level, have done just that! And many people in the private sector have not seen salary increase for years.

 We all want to provide our children with the best possible education we can.  But everyone needs to step up in these economic times and work together to reach this goal.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ernestine Franco May 05, 2012 at 03:35 PM
I received this in an e-mail and have not been able to locate it on the Patch. Since I'd liket or respond to it, I've pasted it here. Hi Ernestine Franco, Meg Murray commented on your blog post, DID YOU KNOW: Rocky Point Teachers Negotiating Contract: "And have you done the same? Have you given up some of your salary? Are you required by the state to have a master's degree, racking up tremendous student loans? Also, administrators have a different contract than teachers. You need to do your homework!"
Ernestine Franco May 05, 2012 at 03:37 PM
I have been faulted by some who say that I don’t understand how contracts work, that no group can be forced to renegotiate a contract. This is true, but groups in other school districts have done just that--they have become part of the solution rather than remain apart by realizing that unsustainable budgets cannot continue. But what I”ve been talking about is the Rocky Point Teachers Association--and let’s be clear they are CURRENTLY negotiating a new contract. This is the time for them to step up and make some of the concessions I mentioned in my initial blog. I’ve been asked what have I been willing to give up. For 30 years I have been a self-employed small business owner and I really don’t know what I have to give up. • I get no paid vacation days, no paid sick days, no paid personal days. • I cannot close down my business for two months out of the year. • I already pay all of my health insurance--$800 a month. • I’m already fully responsible for anything I can put away toward a pension. • I have not received any salary increase for the past five years.
Ernestine Franco May 05, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Continued froom above: To those teachers who say that they have had to pay to further their education, that teaching is a vocation, I say that I work in industry that is constantly changing and that requires me to constantly learn. I do this, at my own expense with no guarantee of a step increase. Does this mean I too have a vocation? The answer is No. I do it, as so many others do in the private sector, because it’s my job and I should do it as best I can. And at the same time I have been paying for the out-of-control salaries and benefits of teachers and administrators.
MatthewD May 05, 2012 at 08:21 PM
I can only assume that Meg Murray is a teacher. Only a teacher would be so out of touch with the lives of most people to even think that they're the only ones that have to continue learning to do their jobs well. Or the only ones that "rack" up loans to further their education. We all have requirements we have to meet. It always seems to come down to how their jobs are harder, their committment greater, their sacrifices more altruistic, and the work they do more important, and therefore the rest of us should be willing to pay for salaries and benefits we can only dream of and not complain! We need to continue getting the word out that we aren't going to stand for it anymore. We want reasonable, sustainable budgets and we don't want the cuts made to school programs. They should be made where most of the money goes--to salaries and benefits.
Alicia Palifka May 07, 2012 at 12:52 AM
@Ernestine..Kudos for everything you have said here! As a professional myself I must always keep , at my own expence, my schooling up to date as well. It is called personal responsibility. The difference is you and I do if on our own and don't expect someone else to foot the bill..while "others" seem to feel their worth to the system is more important. Well news flash..we are all free to choose what profession we want to go into and along with that comes the realities of life! For the record..in my profession..I have to purchase my own insurance as well~
Alicia Palifka May 07, 2012 at 12:52 AM
@MatthewD..Agreed!
Diane Blythe-O'Brien May 10, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Ernestine, I applaud everything proposed in your comments (posted above). That anyone should ask, in this day and age, what have those other than teachers and school admnistrators given back shows a complete disregard for reality. As someone who's worked as an RN for the State of NY, employee givebacks are something I'm all too familiar with, along with MANDATORY overtime. What's not understood is this is not an indictment against teachers. My distress is directed at Administrators needing asst. administrators who then need yet another assistant. Why is it so impossible for people to understand that this cannot continue?
MatthewD May 10, 2012 at 09:42 AM
I agree with you, Diane, this is not an indictment against teachers, it's an indictment against salaries and benefits that are expected by BOTH administrators AND teachers. Yes, the system is too top heavy. All those administrators aren't needed, but until something is done about the salaries and benefits, the problems will not be solved. Taxes will continue growing until many will not be able to afford to live here. The head of the Long Island Business Association said on channel 21 on May 5 that pensions in the public sector have INCREASED by 904% over the last 10 years and in the private sector, if anything, they have been cut back.
Ricardo February 15, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Seriously Ernstine. Do your homework!! Good job talking JIBERISH
William Q. Donahue February 15, 2013 at 04:09 PM
I have an idea! Lets have Ernestine post HIS salary online for all to see just as teachers do. Better yet....MatthewD maybe you can tell us what your income is and what you do for a living. It must be nice to sit behind your little computer screen and throw muscle terms around and judge others. I guess when you type up some nonsense online no one knows what it means but its provocative and it gets the crowd going. No wonder so many sheep have jumped on this bandwagon of teacher bashing.
JoeTaxPayer February 15, 2013 at 07:16 PM
Blah, blah, blah......Ya know.....u teachers come walking into school on your two legs all cocky, thinking who you are! U teachers think you are superior to all of us that work in the private sector. Kudos to u Ernestine. You're a man thats speeks the truff son.
William Q. Donahue February 15, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Hey JTP (thats JoeTaxPayer for those of us on here that can't spell correctly.....hint..hint SashaK, MatthewD, and Diane Blythe-O'Brien) thanks for the words of wisdom. I guess the education system is failing us after all with the numerous spelling errors/typos. I feel like I'm taking Crazy Pills! I mean I have to be honest I feel like Im trying to catch my bearings....its like there's cartoons and clown characters and I'm just like WOW!
Ella February 15, 2013 at 08:56 PM
Ernestine: First off, I have several people in my family who are small business owners and it is a tough road so I would never bash the industry. The last thing they do is try to be a specialist in education. Being out of the game (is it 30 years?) makes your opinions outdated and ill informed. Even in just the last ten years the transformation of education has been amazing. Still collecting from the retirement system? Convenient. Or was teaching education too difficult then? Maybe Bitter. It is so trendy to just continue to bash teachers. The one line about administration was quickly stated and redirected. It isn't trendy to write about 40,000 perk packages, 0% paid into health insurance, and all of the other fine print facts that we all skip over. You are right, education is about the children. It is also about the group of individuals that are passionate about what they do and come into work everyday with that same mentality. Education is also about a community working together to better the children of our districts (That could be a whole new piece) the constant growing split between the educators and the community is a major problem. Instead of increasing that rift, become the solution in pulling communities together not the ever ranting problem!
Jennifer Hoffman September 08, 2013 at 09:31 AM
Our RP teachers are NOT fighting for more money. In my opinion and being married to a NYS teacher for 17 years teachers do NOT make enough money... If your not a teacher or experience their lives it's hard to understand what teachers really go through. In this case with RP. Our teachers have been fighting for more time in their classrooms more resources to teach our children. NOT more money. This is a fact I know to be 100% true. Now when it comes to RP administration I agree 100%. There is NO way of explaining the outrageous salaries increases and additional admins and coordinators hired at Rocky Point.
Jennifer Hoffman September 08, 2013 at 09:34 AM
The highest paid PUBLIC employees in this country are coaches!!!! With a strong emphasis on football coaches. Who is complaining how much they make???
Jennifer Hoffman September 08, 2013 at 09:35 AM
@joe taxpayer. Ernestine is a women. 😊😊😊😊
Jennifer Hoffman September 08, 2013 at 09:43 AM
Ernestine did you know that teachers actually donate their sick and or vacation days to staff that may have a loved one -wife-husband-child- sick or even dying?? All districts have different protocol on this but it can be done. Most recently by RP teachers who lent a helping hand to a RP teacher who's spouse was gravely ill. After it was denied by Dr Ring. The BOE stepped in after pleads on behalf of their co-worker. In the June minutes you will see the BOE passed a resolution in our district allowing this. This is about being compassionate and fair. It's not all good and its not all bad.

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