A recent article in the PNJ disccussed at length the probability that district employees would be receiving raises for the 2010-2011 school year. As I read that article, I was concerned that the information disseminated was incorrect. The breakdown above from a recent budget meeting clearly shows that our unrestricted fund balance will be severely impacted for next FY with the loss of stimulus and other federal revenue. The union has been provided this same information. I believe the union realizes the financial predicament our district currently faces; So I, like many others, was perplexed at the timing of that article. I also felt that the union president's statement .....
"There's money there," she said. "I'm hopeful. In the last year or so, we've had good rapport with the district."
......was a little bit off base
the union is right in that the rapport has been somewhat better than in some year's past with respect to salary negotiations--however, the statement that "there is money there" is overly simplistic, inaccurate, and sends the wrong message. It apparently tells the public that "there is money for raises available and the district should give raises this year" This is overly optimistic at best--disingenuous and misleading at worst.
The Union wanted Amendment 8 killed, and they succeeded in that quest. Congratulations, you won--and we will now be spending, at a minimum, an extra $2.7Million yearly to stay incompliance with the class size mandate measured on a hard cap classroom by classroom basis. That is $2.7Million that could have been used for employee salary increases, but now it is spent money.
Message to the union-there is nobody at the district that wants to NOT give raises, however economic realities cannot be ignored. Our tax roll is shrinking, our budgets have been clipped at the state level, and raising taxes is not a viable option in this climate. Your raise for this year may end up being that your classroom enrollment sizes are "hard capped". Remember---your union wanted hard caps and they have them--but sometimes it is prudent to be careful what one wishes for--because sometimes we get what we want and it's not what we thought it would be.