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.