Opinion: School Survey Misleading, Contract Negotiation Needed

An opinion piece from Miller Place School District resident Wlodek Guryn on the upcoming school budget.

(Editor's Note: The following is a letter sent to Patch from Miller Place School District resident Wlodek Guryn. The views expressed are that of Mr. Guryn's.)

By: Wlodek Guryn

There is a survey on the Miller Place School District website, which is designed to totally distract from the real issues in this budget season. I hope MPSD taxpayers and residents join me requesting that the survey is taken off the taxpayers supported MPSD website.

As an example, below is, at best, a misleading question in the survey. Many, if not all the costs listed in the question from the survey are directly or indirectly under the local Board of Education/district control, the only thing needed is opening and renegotiating of the contracts so that they are in line with what the community can afford. (The question is bolded and my comments are italicized.)

School district expenses are expected to increase next year due to
costs that are beyond the school district’s control.
• Health insurance will go up by 14%

This cost is a negotiated item, which is not mandated by the state.
Renegotiating the contracts can bring it down.

• Teacher Retirement System payments will rise by 33%

Those depend on the salaries in the district so they can be controlled by the contracts also. In addition there are provisions in the contract that allow a high payout for accrued sick balance which contribute to the high cost of the pensions.

• Employee Retirement System payments will rise by 40 percent.
• Contractual Salary increase per collective bargaining agreements

Opening of the contracts can control these and we can not afford
highly overpaid administrators.

• Cost of Fuel for transportation is expected to increase.

This is not a very big part of the cost.

• New State-required educational changes adding tens of thousands of dollars

Given the two percent property tax levy cap, do you believe that the school district can continue to provide the same level of programs and
services to students without exceeding the cap?

Yes it can be, providing that the contracts are renegotiated.

The BOE must request that the survey is taken off the MPSD web site.

MPmustChange January 31, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Lenn, you are way off base to say the least. Find other ways to trim budgets???? What do you suggest??? Turning the lights off when you leave a room??? Please. Please go online and look up the teachers union contract. It is loaded with all great stuff.....for the teachers. First of all the BOE cannot "break" a contract. They will be asking the teachers for a pay freeze, concession on health care...something. This year alone we have a $ 5 million short fall. Where do you plan on finding that? Coincidently, the short fall is from the extended contract they received last year! They gave money back, not for the district and children, but for themselves to save teachers jobs. Not one dollar went to programs for the kids. In doing so, the BOE gave them a nice contract extension and a raise based on the CPI (inflation). Which is now around 3%. The old contract was 1.5%. Believe it or not, they will be receiving more of a raise in a time we are lucky if we have a job! Dont get me wrong....they are not the only ones to blame. The BOE should be ashamed of themselves. The only BOE member that didnt vote "yes" for this budget and contract was Mike Unger. The rest are all in bed with the Union especially the Superintendent. You are correct in saying the "schools are and should be about education". Sadly they are not. Why do grades and scores continue to go DOWN and Salaries continue to go UP!!! If this was a business...they would all be FIRED!
MPmustChange January 31, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Nicely said Scott. Magnani and O'Brien are part of the problem...not the solution. Why should the teachers give back...they have no reason to. They have a great contract. Magnani, O'Brien and Hoden are going to create (or have done so already) a great "rif" in this community. All from not doing the right thing for the community.
MPmustChange January 31, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Lisa, with all do respect....you are a teacher!!!!! Of course you do not want to make it about teachers. Let's pay the sympathy card! Lets blame the 2% tax cap. Lets blame the NYS Mandates. Why dont you call it what it is.....MP, along with the rest of Long Island, can not continue to pay these salaries, benefits and pensions. Teachers and administration alike. I do agee...."Enough is Enough"
MPmustChange January 31, 2012 at 03:45 PM
This is what you get when an Administration and BOE does not do their job. They are supposed to do whats in the best interest of the tax payers. They havent in the past and this is what we are left with. Now tax payers have to speak up only to face the teachers with our demands on cuts. Now we have to face possible retaliation and evil looks from the teachers in this school. I dont blame them. I think they do a great job. I blame their union and our Adminsitration for pitting us against them while they hide! A sad state of affairs to say the least.
BillLongisland January 31, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Typical Democrat-Progressive talking points...If we want to take care of our...Children, then teach them benefits of Thrift, by example...we are teaching these young minds Full of "Mush", Everything else from the Fake Science of "Environmentalism" to Fake History....how about something that will be intrinsically valuable to them for a change ?
BillLongisland January 31, 2012 at 05:17 PM
You can't be serious that you will Ever see Anything like Wisconsin here, Ever !
BillLongisland January 31, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Don't worry Lisa your union job is safe in NYS...for you and your future generations ! Your Union have positioned themselves as Sugar Daddy for the feckless politicians of Any party, for generations to come.
BillLongisland January 31, 2012 at 05:22 PM
With an emasculated State legislatature and a Stealth Democrat as Governor, tax payers can speak all they want to...no one is listening to them. Money Talk$ and Everything El$e Walk$ !
BillLongisland January 31, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Why do parents have to depend upon the school system to have Anything to do with this trip ?
MPmustChange January 31, 2012 at 05:42 PM
100% agreed that we DONT need the school district for this trip. It is something that was worked into the budget. WHY???? Because teachers go on the trip. Alot of them. They are paid and subs for them are paid as well. This could easily be controlled outside the school district. BUT there is a big problem with that. 220 8th graders would have an Unexcused absent for 2-3 days. Then you say "so what"???? Well when students are absent the School District doesnt get "paid" for that absence. So you have 220 absences, all the teachers (doing nothing) and no pay!!!! So that is why they want to control it. The best part is that as an 8th grade parent... you have to pay $500 for the trip anyway. So make it $600 to cover what you cut. This is where the BOE and Supers become Disingenuous! They want the people of Miller Place to feel the "pain" of a cut. So what do they do....they cut a thing that matters most and costs almost nothing to the district! This trip might have been the straw that broke the camels back!
BillLongisland February 01, 2012 at 10:32 AM
MPmustChange, if All what you say is true, then, this trip costs more than what the "out of pocket costs" are, and it's just a case of parents sloughing off their Responsibility to their children, cheaply, onto the school district. Then, Why should school district Tax payers "foot the bil"l for, what is, in effect, a pleasure trip at The Public Gravy Train's expen$e ?
Paul Kersey February 01, 2012 at 01:34 PM
http://news.investors.com/Article/599615/201201311903/obama-economy-worse-than-thought-cbo-says.htm Not too different in NYS, either. And look how the unions freak when "management" tries to manage: http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/critics-decry-nassau-police-precinct-plan-1.3492719
BillLongisland February 01, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Freak ? It's like Total War !
BillLongisland February 01, 2012 at 10:26 PM
There is enough money there in both school districts, but not enough Truth in how it is spent by All of these NY school districts. They are above the Law and they operate in spite of local, State and Federal law. And they wouldn't be able to stand the genuine scrutiny of how they spend the money they already get from various sources. One example, "phantom employees". It would reveal accounting and administrative practices that would make the Mafia blush. One thing for sure, the school districts and the Unions that are in "cahoots" with each other Againt Tax Payers, want The Gravy Train to keep on going !
DM/MP February 01, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Want to find 5M quick and not raise Taxes in Miller Place. Reassess Sound Beach. Then and only then will there be an equal playing field so we can start to have an intelligent conversation about co-curricular activities and concessions on both sides to insure a quality education for our children. Keeping Sound Beach taxes artificially low by virtue of a blind eye at TOB serves only those who profit from rentals.
RPSteve February 01, 2012 at 11:19 PM
The same survey with the misleading talking points posing as survey questions, is also up on the Rocky Point School District web site.
BillLongisland February 02, 2012 at 05:16 AM
This "suggestion" from the Miller Place Civic Association is like All Of The Others from Big Government proponents...throwing More of your Tax Payer Money at the problem and Higher Taxes. That it is "quick" and that it will "not raise taxes" is a NOT TRUE...it's just an "Invitation" for the School District for HIGHER TAXES AND MORE OF YOUR "free" Tax Payer Money for the insatiable School District to waste. These Big Government people are so Slick with their "suggestions" and Free with your hard-earned money aren't they...Don't Be Fooled by this FAKE "solution" ! These free-spending School Districts and their apologists in this Town, have proven to you, that It doesn't matter How Much of your money they have...they have proven, time and Time Again, they don't know What the word "Thrift" means and they can't be trusted with that well worn "promise" of theirs that they won't raise your Taxes. All a "promise" from Them, Not To Raise your taxes is...is, a Promise to Raise Taxes. And once they do, the money disappears supporting their Benefactors and their insatiable Need for More Money !
DM/MP February 02, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Equal burden, equal voice. To call a random blog post a "Civic suggestion" is as false as calling a volunteer organization "Big Government". When 70% of ones tax bill comprises Schools, that portion ought to relate equally by potential Tax burden in the community. A three bedroom home should equal a larger three bedroom home for at lest the School Portion of the tax bill by virtue of common sense. Remember we all share in the equity of a quality district when it comes time to sell. Where we agree, is that the portion (70%) is too damn high for all,but you cant have one portion of a community completely carrying the Tax burden of another, that is Big Government at its absolute worst.What we really need to do is to start with a stabilized patient before we begin any surgery at MPSD or RPSD.The beach communities need to be reassessed for a shared sacrifice to begin. Fair is fair.
BillLongisland February 02, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Anything that comes from these socalled "civic associations" in Brookhaven, have to be looked at scrupulously....because they stand as Noodles against Anything Any Town Pol wants ! They are Nothing but "rubber stamps" for Anything the Town and the Town Political Elites "cook up" ! This "reassessment" Scam is one of them ! Another one they will mention is "rateables" ! Tell us "when" the ANY Local Pol that represents this Town OR one of the public Employee Unions is going to suggest to the School Districts in Brookhaven are going to "open their books" ? Do they Really want Tax Payers, let alone the State AG or the US Attorney in Central Islip know how the District handles it's multiple sets of books ? How many "no show" jobs do these school districts have ? Where does Nick LaMorte of the CSEA, "stand" on this for his School Union Employees ? Or even Bill Walsh Rep At Large for the Town Union Employees ? ANSWER: When John Powell says they will ! NEVER !
DM/MP February 02, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I approach you with logic. Your retort is Teabag paranoia. Get well soon
BillLongisland February 02, 2012 at 04:02 PM
What the representative from the Miller Place Civic Association isn't sharing with you, is what he and they know about this Town on the various "land deals", that has turned this Town into a parking lot, with the ever increasing tax burden ! They know these policies that they "rubber stamp" and publicly support, continue to raise Taxes for Everyone and do nothing intrinsically Good for all of that Tax Money. If they did share this "inside information" publicly, and genuinely "serve" The Public Good, they would be "cut off" from participating in The Brookhaven Political Process...which everyone know what that has become ! They want to be "Insiders" and not do anything for the Future of this Town. So they settle into being willing participants in The Decline of Brookhaven, with ever rising hard-earned Tax Dollars, supporting policies that only encourage higher taxes to feed The Machine.
DM/MP February 02, 2012 at 05:10 PM
What the troll is not sharing with you is that as a perpetual victim, he is absolved of any wrongdoing by merely going rogue and flinging poo from his basement in Sound Beach. I speak for no one and am at present a not a member of anything other than my Church. I do however prefer to be involved rather than be a victim. I most likely will pull myself up by my bootstraps and enter the fray soon. I'm confident the Patch troll will not.
DM/MP February 02, 2012 at 05:17 PM
The saddest part of the delusion above is that he is represented by the only seated Conservative in town hall. Let's hope he can rally around a tax freeze for a much maligned Miller Place as Sound Beach finally plays catch up with the rest of the district.
BillLongisland February 02, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Ouch ! I think I touched a Political Elites "nerve" !
BillLongisland February 02, 2012 at 06:25 PM
If you live in Venezuela-like totalitarian government, like we all do in Brookhaven, paying Taxes for the likes of these Political Elites is all we are allowed to do. The door is closed in Brookhaven for honest, public Debate, because of the reprobates in local government like MPCA and John Powell despise public debate, and crush it with their Corruption.
Rich Arleo (Editor) February 02, 2012 at 07:05 PM
As always we appreciate conversation but derogatory language will not be tolerated. Please see your Terms of Service: http://millerplace-rockypoint.patch.com/terms
DM/MP February 02, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Please address the Troll.
BillLongisland February 03, 2012 at 11:53 AM
General Facts Staff: 406 Full time teachers: 218 Pupil to teacher ratio: 15 to 1 Teacher assistants (instructional aides): 58 Instructional Coordinators: 2 Elementary Teachers: 81 Kindergarten Teachers: 7 Pre-K Teachers: 0 High School Teachers: 96 Pre-K to 12 Students: 3,111 Financial Statistics for Miller Place Union Free School District Revenue Revenue from local sources: $31,146,000 Revenue from state sources: $21,159,000 Revenue from federal sources: $1,186,000 Total revenue: $53,491,000 Expenses Expenditures on instruction: $32,940,000 Expenditures on teacher salary: $30,935,000 Expenditures on teacher benefits: $10,464,000 Expenditures per student: not available Total expenditures: $52,888,000 Breakdown of Teacher Salary Expenses Teacher salary expenses on regular education: $15,747,000 Teacher salary expenses on special education: $3,039,000 Teacher salary expenses on vocational education: $0 http://www.teachersalaryinfo.com/new-york/teacher-salary-in-miller-place-union-free-school-district/
lisa murray February 04, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Reacess sound Beach you say...sounds normal- Blame the other Guy!! would never want to be on your playing field. one gentleman said it correctly- Bad Business!! Just like most of you have made on top of the school deals...Living beyound your means,and blame the one excellent Rated school!! I am no fan of taxes - but...what changes have you made?? My school district RP had all their Administration Housed on 25A prime real estate that YES WE were paying, yes I kept complaining- Now their out aren't they and their so fine past Superintendant!! Good riddens. They need to concent trat on the Upper slackers..This day and age, teachers are not allowed to speak out..we hear how miserable at Child's sport events- Budget time at RP they use the Kids ART work to sway people....why is that allowed...ever wounder who's hand gets buttered??? I got mine buttered when they were evicted!! Moldy Trailer's for our kids- why not them... Go see a Wounderful Mother made Film, " Race To Nowhere" then you will be educated- Kids on drugs ,you don't know??? get real..Tylenol PM- thats not behind the counter...When was the last time you did something nice for any single unknown child?? Take a good look at those stupid cookie cutter houses-you really needed that 3 Car storage area?? HUMA HUMA HUMA :) :)
lisa murray February 04, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Go sit in the classrooms- see the interaction's...If a child is known to have their family reported to CPS..bruises food clothing drugs of any kind..Don't you think a Great part of these teachers would love to give a Hug?? Pathetic they are captive on the basic Love most of us were brought up on..then the sleepless nights- woundering - how is she/He....teaching does not end at five-they have to settle in with all of you on their minds...watching their backs....Money issues...well heres one Wake up each morning Mom Pop and drive your kid to school!! That solves the Bus and gas issues!! Too early not enough time you say? when it comes to saving why are you complaining again!! You never End...:) Punish the kids in" ISS".. what right do you have to your own Gatunomobay..yeah yeah spell CK. you get the point....


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