Gazette Ceases Publication: Donates Archives to LHS

In 2010, the Larchmont Gazette ceased publication. In 2011 the publishers donated all contents to the Larchmont Historical Society, which will continue to make the Gazette archives available online.

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MTA "Disappointed" Giveback Offer Rejected By Schools

The Gazette received the following release from the Mamaroneck Teachers’ Association on Thursday afternoon. A few minutes later, there was a release from the Mamaroneck School District. An article on the topic will be appearing shortly.

The Mamaroneck Teachers’ Association was disappointed to hear that the Superintendent of Schools and the Board of Education have rejected the MTA’s generous proposal to save the school district over $650,000 for the 2010-2011 budget.  The proposal surpassed the dollar amount that Superintendent Paul Fried had requested from the Association.  The MTA offered to give back more than 1.14% of their contracted raise for the 2010-2011 school year, in exchange for a two-year contract extension. The MTA’s proposal was comparable to agreements reached in Scarsdale, Pelham, White Plains, Pocantico Hills, Eastchester, Nyack, and Somers school districts.

No counter proposal was offered by the Board of Education for consideration. Instead, the district representatives implied that they prefer to negotiate the entire contract next year – a time consuming and expensive process with an uncertain outcome.

Last year, the Mamaroneck Teachers’ Association was asked to make concessions to save jobs.  The membership voted and gave back more than $250,000 asking for nothing in return.  Linnet Tse, BOE President, in an email dated April 27, 2009 called the MTA’s generosity  “historic.”  In an email dated May 20, 2009, Paul Fried congratulated the teachers, and said, “The concessions granted by the MTA went a long way in creating good faith in the community.” The MTA was one of three districts in the county to make a concession.

The current contract, which was settled in 2008, was negotiated in good faith, benefiting both the Mamaroneck School District and the Mamaroneck Teachers’ Association.   The MTA believes the BOE is being shortsighted in rejecting this generous proposal as it offers well-needed funds for the short term, and stability for the next three years.

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4 comments to MTA “Disappointed” Giveback Offer Rejected By Schools

  • Anon E Mous

    The ‘contract’ may be subject to change despite the union.

    But when the time to negotiate a new contract arrives, the survival of the district depends on our remembering that the unions were effectively paid in advance – during a time when neighbors are struggling – and are being paid in the future –

    Any new contract must specify that the union repay the ‘debt’ to the community. We cannot leave it to those who remain here, and to the students. We must not be that irresponsible.

    To err is human, but when the eraser wears out ahead of the pencil, you’re overdoing it. – Josh Jenkins

  • Concerned Citizen

    Over 3% or a cost of living increase? What world do these union members live in? When was the last time inflation or the CPI topped 3%? They want to foist 8%+ annual tax increases on the homeowners of our district at a time when nobody can afford it (and the tax increases come on top of an already unsustainably high base). Calling this offer generous is a gross mischaracterization. Homeowners and parents will have a generous offer waiting for the MTA at the bargaining table come contract time. See you there.

    • Anon E Mous

      Actually it’s +3% ‘COL’, plus ‘Step’ and ‘Line’ increases. But, no measured ‘performance’ adjustments :-)

      Perhaps its ‘we’, the ‘community’, that needs an education :-)

      And, if ‘we’ study hard now, the next contract will have ‘pay backs’. And perhaps, if we study hard now, we’ll implement other standard management functions such as ‘analysis of staffing requirements’ and ‘succession planning’.

      And maybe even, just maybe, if ‘we’ study real hard now, we’ll return the management and leadership functions to those ‘we’ hired to manage and lead – and those functions won’t be ‘union contract provisions’ :-)

      ‘Commerce, n. A kind of transaction in which A plunders from B the goods of C, and for compensation B picks the pocket of D of money belonging to E. – Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic’s World Book, 1906.

  • Groundhog Day

    I do not fault anyone (including the teachers) for trying to get the best deal that they can; however, I do to exception to mis-characterizing a proposal that benefits one’s own interests as being a “generous offer”.

    I am hopeful that, upon reflection, teachers will see that it is actually in their own long-term best interests to be more reasonable about pay freezes, raises, and other concessions — higher taxes are no longer an alternative and the amount we need to fund to teachers’ pensions is only increasing. If teachers were willing to approach the State government and agree to either reduce their pension benefits or increase (even slightly) their pension contributions (each of which is governed by State law), there could be more flexibility with regard to their current compensation levels. It is a zero-sum game.

    Teachers would actually, in the aggregate, have lost more than they would have gained if the Board agreed to the MTA proposal, as it would guaranty several more years of teacher layoffs, increased class sizes, and less funding for programs — each of which would negatively impact the teachers. Eventually, not only would teachers not want to teach in what would become oversized and underfunded facilities, but they would literally have to ask themselves every year whether they were going to be one of the ones that were cut. Wouldn’t it be nice (for all) if we were able to get back to the place where we could focus on adding worthwhile resources and programs? We will never get there without some real concessions from the MTA — whether it be at the contract level or the State pension level (or both).

    We have some wonderful teachers who should continue to be well compensated — it is just a question of degrees and sustainability.