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average increase teacher pay compared to private/govt - URL

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  • Catherine Johnson
    Hi again - I ve more or less mastered the new Excel, and have put together two charts that compare average increase in Irvington teacher pay to average
    Message 1 of 20 , May 12 12:37 PM

    Hi again - 

    I've more or less mastered the new Excel, and have put together two charts that compare average increase in Irvington teacher pay to average increase in private sector AND govt pay, along with the change in price for one Irvington home owned by a friend of mine.


    A blog isn't the ideal way to display these charts, but it will have to do for now. I'll have to look into Google sites when I have time. (I'm attaching pdf files as well.)

    Btw, I've never done this before, so if anyone out there has time to check my work, I would be grateful. The wage-increase data for Irvington comes from Bev M, the national data from the Federal Reserve.

    I think these two graphs capture the story, pretty much.

    Catherine

    FRED:
    file:///Users/cijohn/Dropbox/1%20Average%20Teacher%20Increase%20&%20College%20Increases/FRED/1%20FRED%20DATA%20-%20EXCEL%20CHARTS/1%20SOURCE%20-%20URL%20-%20FRED%20Graph%20-%20St.%20Louis%20Fed%20State%20&%20Local%20Govt%20Wages.webarchive


    From: Catherine Johnson <cijohn@...>
    Reply-To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
    Date: Thu, 10 May 2012 08:24:21 -0400
    To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
    Subject: [irvingtonparentsforum] 2011-12: $126,644 | 2012-13 $134,739.75

     

    Average teacher cost of compensation (w/o life insurance, disability insurance, workers comp, & lane increases):

    2011-12: $129,644.27
    2012-13: $134,739.75

    Percent change: 3.93%

    =================

    Hi everyone - 

    These are Bev M's figures for average cost of compensation year-on-year. She didn't include life insurance etc because those figures are the same rate this year and next. 

    I don't think these figures include lane increases – but I'll correct that statement if they do. We aren't paying a lot of lane increases these days due to faculty age.  I *think* the number of teachers receiving lane increases next year is below 10, but I don't know. 

    Lane increases are raises received upon completion of further education, and they run around 5%.

    Catherine

    Here's the complete set of figures:  

    2011-12
    Average teacher salary  $96,400
    Social Security $7,374.60
    TRS pension $10,710.04
    Health insurance $15,159.63
    TOTAL: $129,644.27

    2012-2013
    Average teacher salary: $99,150.00
    TRS pension: $7,584.97
    Health insurance: $11,739.36
    TOTAL: $134,739.75

    PERCENT CHANGE: 3.93%



    From: Gordon Elliot <elliotgo@...>
    Reply-To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
    Date: Wed, 09 May 2012 22:30:38 -0400
    To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
    Subject: Re: [irvingtonparentsforum] 2 candidates will approach union

     

    Catherine,
     
    I love that line:  "The simple solution to all of our problems is to cap raises at 2%. No more layoffs! Young teachers can keep their jobs, students can keep their teachers, and the non-rich can keep their homes"
    Gordon
    On Wed, May 9, 2012 at 9:54 PM, Catherine <hillisjohnson@...> wrote:
     

    Hi everyone -

    I think the headline news from last night is that two candidates, Robyne Camp & Della Lenz, both independently brought up the rate of increase in teacher compensation under the new contract. Robyne Camp puts it at 4%; Della Lenz puts it at 5%. Both said that if elected they will ask the union to bring that figure down, and both expressed optimism that the union will help.

    fyi: I've been in touch with Beverly M, who puts the average increase in teacher compensation next year at 4% (3.93% to be exact). I'll get the figures posted tomorrow.

    That 4% (or 5%) is our problem.

    The tax cap is 2%.

    The contract is 4%.

    You can't pay 4% raises with a 2% increase in taxes.

    The simple solution to all of our problems is to cap raises at 2%. No more layoffs! Young teachers can keep their jobs, students can keep their teachers, and the non-rich can keep their homes.

    I'll get more of my notes posted tomorrow.

    Catherine

    You may be able to click on the link below to see the percent change in average wages in the private sector since the crash.

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/fredgraph.png?&id=ECIWAG&scale=Left&range=Custom&cosd=2006-06-01&coed=2012-01-01&line_color=%230000ff&link_values=false&line_style=Solid&mark_type=NONE&mw=4&lw=1&ost=-99999&oet=99999&mma=0&fml=a&fq=Quarterly&fam=avg&fgst=lin&transformation=pc1&vintage_date=2012-05-09&revision_date=2012-05-09


  • John Dawson
    Earlier this year I brought this up at a board meeting. My comments came from discussions with Brewster School District officials. The discussion was not
    Message 2 of 20 , May 12 6:44 PM
    • 0 Attachment
      Earlier this year I brought this up at a board meeting.  My comments came from discussions with Brewster School District officials.  The discussion was not followed through with because of the more important issues we had to deal with this year.  In Brewster, instead of having the corporations name covering a donated item, a plaque dedicating it is placed nearby
       
      John
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Catherine Johnson <cijohn@...>
      To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Fri, May 11, 2012 1:40 pm
      Subject: [irvingtonparentsforum] revenue generators - are billboards on fields legal? [2 Attachments]

       
      [Attachment(s) from Catherine Johnson included below]

      Hi everyone - 

      I was just talking to a friend about the possibility of generating revenue via billboards (or some kind of banner) on the sports fields. Robyn K endorsed that idea at the candidates' forum. 

      State education law restricts "commercialism in the schools," but it's unclear to me what that means exactly — or, perhaps more importantly, how those restrictions affect the amount of revenue that could be raised.

      Here's the statute I find (I don't know whether there are other statutes that modify or qualify this one):

      @ 23.2_ Prohibition of commercial promotional activity in the public schools
      ___Boards of education or their agents shall not enter into written or oral contracts, agreements or arrangements for which the consideration, in whole or in part, consists of a promise to permit commercial promotional activity on school premises, provided that nothing in this Part shall be construed as prohibiting commercial sponsorship of school activities.
      Statutory authority: Education Law, ' ' 101, 207, 414 

      And here's an observation from an Easthampton school board:

      At Tuesday’s board of education meeting, BOE president Laura Anker-Grossman distributed a copy of New York state policy on raising funds through corporate sponsorships.
      The state, Anker-Grossman said, makes a distinction between corporate sponsorships, which allow for a company’s name but no advertising, and actual advertising campaigns.

      Catherine



      School Board Talks About Ads, Puts Conversation on Pause 

      July 7, 2011

      From: Catherine Johnson <cijohn@...>
      Reply-To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
      Date: Thu, 10 May 2012 08:24:21 -0400
      To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: [irvingtonparentsforum] 2011-12: $126,644 | 2012-13 $134,739.75

       
      Average teacher cost of compensation (w/o life insurance, disability insurance, workers comp, & lane increases):

      2011-12: $129,644.27
      2012-13: $134,739.75

      Percent change: 3.93%

      =================

      Hi everyone - 

      These are Bev M's figures for average cost of compensation year-on-year. She didn't include life insurance etc because those figures are the same rate this year and next. 

      I don't think these figures include lane increases – but I'll correct that statement if they do. We aren't paying a lot of lane increases these days due to faculty age.  I *think* the number of teachers receiving lane increases next year is below 10, but I don't know. 

      Lane increases are raises received upon completion of further education, and they run around 5%.

      Catherine

      Here's the complete set of figures:  

      2011-12
      Average teacher salary  $96,400
      Social Security $7,374.60
      TRS pension $10,710.04
      Health insurance $15,159.63
      TOTAL: $129,644.27

      2012-2013
      Average teacher salary: $99,150.00
      TRS pension: $7,584.97
      Health insurance: $11,739.36
      TOTAL: $134,739.75

      PERCENT CHANGE: 3.93%



      From: Gordon Elliot <elliotgo@...>
      Reply-To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
      Date: Wed, 09 May 2012 22:30:38 -0400
      To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: Re: [irvingtonparentsforum] 2 candidates will approach union

       
      Catherine,
       
      I love that line:  "The simple solution to all of our problems is to cap raises at 2%. No more layoffs! Young teachers can keep their jobs, students can keep their teachers, and the non-rich can keep their homes"
      Gordon
      On Wed, May 9, 2012 at 9:54 PM, Catherine <hillisjohnson@...> wrote:
       
      Hi everyone -

      I think the headline news from last night is that two candidates, Robyne Camp & Della Lenz, both independently brought up the rate of increase in teacher compensation under the new contract. Robyne Camp puts it at 4%; Della Lenz puts it at 5%. Both said that if elected they will ask the union to bring that figure down, and both expressed optimism that the union will help.

      fyi: I've been in touch with Beverly M, who puts the average increase in teacher compensation next year at 4% (3.93% to be exact). I'll get the figures posted tomorrow.

      That 4% (or 5%) is our problem.

      The tax cap is 2%.

      The contract is 4%.

      You can't pay 4% raises with a 2% increase in taxes.

      The simple solution to all of our problems is to cap raises at 2%. No more layoffs! Young teachers can keep their jobs, students can keep their teachers, and the non-rich can keep their homes.

      I'll get more of my notes posted tomorrow.

      Catherine

      You may be able to click on the link below to see the percent change in average wages in the private sector since the crash.

      http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/fredgraph.png?&id=ECIWAG&scale=Left&range=Custom&cosd=2006-06-01&coed=2012-01-01&line_color=%230000ff&link_values=false&line_style=Solid&mark_type=NONE&mw=4&lw=1&ost=-99999&oet=99999&mma=0&fml=a&fq=Quarterly&fam=avg&fgst=lin&transformation=pc1&vintage_date=2012-05-09&revision_date=20 12-05-09


    • Catherine Johnson
      Hi everyone ­ I ve found that quite a few people stumble when they think about percent change (makes sense because cognitive scientists find that
      Message 3 of 20 , May 13 4:53 PM
      • 0 Attachment

        Hi everyone – I've found that quite a few people stumble when they think about percent change (makes sense because cognitive scientists find that multiplication and fractions aren't intuitive ---- ) 

        Here's how I've started explaining the situation we're in to people who aren't fluent in percent …. 

        Catherine

        ++++++++

        The basic issue we face is simple arithmetic: taxes are capped at two percent, but the contract promises 4.

        According to an estimate by the Assistant Superintendent, under the new contract the average teacher in Irvington will receive roughly a 4% increase in compensation each year until June 2016.

        Four is not two. That is the problem.

        Although “four is not two” is obvious, percent change is not. With percent change, a number that sounds “small” can actually be “large” if it represents a large percent change.

        Here is the way I’ve started to explain it:

        Under the Irvington contract, if you pay a teacher $100K this year, you have to pay him or her $104K next year, on average.

        That is a 4% increase, but we are capped at 2, so you have to find $2K in cuts to ‘pay’ for the raise.

        Hence: layoffs. Some teachers are laid off so that other teachers can have 4% raises.

        If you paid a teacher $1.00 — just one dollar — for an entire year’s work, you would have the same problem. The contract would require that he or she be paid $1.04 next year, and you would have to find two cents in cuts to pay for the 4 percent raise. Four isn’t two – and four never becomes two no matter how “small” the numbers you’re dealing with.

        In short, the absolute dollar amount doesn’t matter; it’s the percent change that counts. So the problem isn’t that Irvington teachers are earning “too much;” the problem is that the yearly increase in their compensation is twice the tax cap. The increases are increasing too fast. 

        THAT is the issue, and we can’t ‘cut’ our way out of it.

        Yes, we can close Main Street School and potentially save a great deal of money. But in terms of the tax cap, closing Main Street School is a one-time deal. We wouldn’t need layoffs the year we closed Main Street School, but the very next year we’d be back to square one because teachers are still getting 4% increases, and four isn’t two. To my knowledge, there’s no provision in the law allowing districts to ‘bank’ big savings in one school year to apply against the tax cap the next year.

        Yes, we can raise class size and save money, but that, too, is a one-time bonus to the budget. We would avoid layoffs that year, but the next year we’d be back to cutting.

        Yes, we can cut electives. Again: a one-time bonus to the budget.

        In each of these cases, cuts reduce spending, but they don’t fix the rate of increase. As long as we have a union contract in place that guarantees average annual increases of 4%, we can’t meet the tax cap without layoffs.

        The logic of percent change also means that encouraging older teachers to retire so we can hire much less costly young teachers actually makes the problem worse because new teachers receive Step increases every year (usually 3%), while older teachers don’t.

        We have only two possible solutions:

        • Persuade the union to agree to cap raises at 2%
        • Raise taxes by roughly 5 to 6% every year (a 4% budget increase is a 5 to 6% tax increase because of tax certs.)

        It’s conceivable there is a third option: generate enough revenue outside of the tax levy to make up the shortfall. Perhaps parents could fund raise as they do in California (where property taxes are much lower and must be shared with all schools in the state – very different situation) or the district could rent out Main Street School —- ?

        http://irvingtonschools.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/why-we-cant-cut-our-way-out/

        From: Catherine Johnson <cijohn@...>
        Reply-To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
        Date: Sat, 12 May 2012 15:37:20 -0400
        To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
        Subject: [irvingtonparentsforum] average increase teacher pay compared to private/govt - URL [2 Attachments]

         
      • Catherine
        Thanks John - ! If you have time, you might want to post something about Pocantico Hills -- ?? Catherine
        Message 4 of 20 , May 13 5:00 PM
        • 0 Attachment
          Thanks John - !

          If you have time, you might want to post something about Pocantico Hills -- ??

          Catherine

          --- In irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com, John Dawson <JDNCD@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Earlier this year I brought this up at a board meeting. My comments came from discussions with Brewster School District officials. The discussion was not followed through with because of the more important issues we had to deal with this year. In Brewster, instead of having the corporations name covering a donated item, a plaque dedicating it is placed nearby
          >
          > John
          >
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Catherine Johnson <cijohn@...>
          > To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
          > Sent: Fri, May 11, 2012 1:40 pm
          > Subject: [irvingtonparentsforum] revenue generators - are billboards on fields legal? [2 Attachments]
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Attachment(s) from Catherine Johnson included below]
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Hi everyone -
          >
          >
          > I was just talking to a friend about the possibility of generating revenue via billboards (or some kind of banner) on the sports fields. Robyn K endorsed that idea at the candidates' forum.
          >
          >
          > State education law restricts "commercialism in the schools," but it's unclear to me what that means exactly â€" or, perhaps more importantly, how those restrictions affect the amount of revenue that could be raised.
          >
          >
          > Here's the statute I find (I don't know whether there are other statutes that modify or qualify this one):
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > @ 23.2_ Prohibition of commercial promotional activity in the public schools
          >
          > ___Boards of education or their agents shall not enter into written or oralcontracts, agreements or arrangements for which the consideration, in whole or inpart, consists of a promise to permit commercial promotional activity on schoolpremises, provided that nothing in this Part shall be construed as prohibitingcommercial sponsorship of school activities.
          >
          > Statutory authority: Education Law, ' ' 101, 207, 414
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > And here's an observation from an Easthampton school board:
          >
          >
          >
          > At Tuesday’s board of education meeting, BOE president Laura Anker-Grossman distributed a copy of New York state policy on raising funds through corporate sponsorships.
          > The state, Anker-Grossman said, makes a distinction between corporate sponsorships, which allow for a company’s name but no advertising, and actual advertising campaigns.
          >
          >
          > Catherine
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > School Board Talks About Ads, Puts Conversation on Pause
          > July 7, 2011
          > http://easthampton.patch.com/articles/school-board-talks-about-ads-puts-conversation-on-pause
          >
          >
          > From: Catherine Johnson <cijohn@...>
          > Reply-To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
          > Date: Thu, 10 May 2012 08:24:21 -0400
          > To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
          > Subject: [irvingtonparentsforum] 2011-12: $126,644 | 2012-13 $134,739.75
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Average teacher cost of compensation (w/o life insurance, disability insurance, workers comp, & lane increases):
          >
          >
          > 2011-12: $129,644.27
          > 2012-13: $134,739.75
          >
          >
          > Percent change: 3.93%
          >
          >
          > =================
          >
          >
          > Hi everyone -
          >
          >
          > These are Bev M's figures for average cost of compensation year-on-year. She didn't include life insurance etc because those figures are the same rate this year and next.
          >
          >
          > I don't think these figures include lane increases â€" but I'll correct that statement if they do. We aren't paying a lot of lane increases these days due to faculty age. I *think* the number of teachers receiving lane increases next year is below 10, but I don't know.
          >
          >
          > Lane increases are raises received upon completion of further education, and they run around 5%.
          >
          >
          > Catherine
          >
          >
          > Here's the complete set of figures:
          >
          >
          > 2011-12
          > Average teacher salary $96,400
          > Social Security $7,374.60
          > TRS pension $10,710.04
          > Health insurance $15,159.63
          > TOTAL: $129,644.27
          >
          >
          > 2012-2013
          > Average teacher salary: $99,150.00
          > TRS pension: $7,584.97
          > Health insurance: $11,739.36
          > TOTAL: $134,739.75
          >
          >
          > PERCENT CHANGE: 3.93%
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > From: Gordon Elliot <elliotgo@...>
          > Reply-To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
          > Date: Wed, 09 May 2012 22:30:38 -0400
          > To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
          > Subject: Re: [irvingtonparentsforum] 2 candidates will approach union
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Catherine,
          >
          > I love that line: "The simple solution to all of our problems is to cap raises at 2%. No more layoffs! Young teachers can keep their jobs, students can keep their teachers, and the non-rich can keep their homes"
          >
          > Gordon
          >
          > On Wed, May 9, 2012 at 9:54 PM, Catherine <hillisjohnson@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Hi everyone -
          >
          > I think the headline news from last night is that two candidates, Robyne Camp & Della Lenz, both independently brought up the rate of increase in teacher compensation under the new contract. Robyne Camp puts it at 4%; Della Lenz puts it at 5%. Both said that if elected they will ask the union to bring that figure down, and both expressed optimism that the union will help.
          >
          > fyi: I've been in touch with Beverly M, who puts the average increase in teacher compensation next year at 4% (3.93% to be exact). I'll get the figures posted tomorrow.
          >
          > That 4% (or 5%) is our problem.
          >
          > The tax cap is 2%.
          >
          > The contract is 4%.
          >
          > You can't pay 4% raises with a 2% increase in taxes.
          >
          > The simple solution to all of our problems is to cap raises at 2%. No more layoffs! Young teachers can keep their jobs, students can keep their teachers, and the non-rich can keep their homes.
          >
          > I'll get more of my notes posted tomorrow.
          >
          > Catherine
          >
          > You may be able to click on the link below to see the percent change in average wages in the private sector since the crash.
          >
          > http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/fredgraph.png?&id=ECIWAG&scale=Left&range=Custom&cosd=2006-06-01&coed=2012-01-01&line_color=%230000ff&link_values=false&line_style=Solid&mark_type=NONE&mw=4&lw=1&ost=-99999&oet=99999&mma=0&fml=a&fq=Quarterly&fam=avg&fgst=lin&transformation=pc1&vintage_date=2012-05-09&revision_date=20 12-05-09
          >
        • Catherine Johnson
          Hi again - I did a VERY rough estimate of the number of layoffs we re likely to need next year to stay within the tax cap ‹ looks like maybe 6 FTEs to me.
          Message 5 of 20 , May 13 5:56 PM
          • 0 Attachment

            Hi again - 

            I did a VERY rough estimate of the number of layoffs we're likely to need next year to stay within the tax cap — looks like maybe 6 FTEs to me.


            Catherine


            From: Catherine Johnson <cijohn@...>
            Reply-To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
            Date: Sun, 13 May 2012 19:53:41 -0400
            To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
            Subject: [irvingtonparentsforum] 4 is not 2 - why we can't cut our way out

             


            Hi everyone – I've found that quite a few people stumble when they think about percent change (makes sense because cognitive scientists find that multiplication and fractions aren't intuitive ---- ) 

            Here's how I've started explaining the situation we're in to people who aren't fluent in percent …. 

            Catherine

            ++++++++

            The basic issue we face is simple arithmetic: taxes are capped at two percent, but the contract promises 4.

            According to an estimate by the Assistant Superintendent, under the new contract the average teacher in Irvington will receive roughly a 4% increase in compensation each year until June 2016.

            Four is not two. That is the problem.

            Although “four is not two” is obvious, percent change is not. With percent change, a number that sounds “small” can actually be “large” if it represents a large percent change.

            Here is the way I’ve started to explain it:

            Under the Irvington contract, if you pay a teacher $100K this year, you have to pay him or her $104K next year, on average.

            That is a 4% increase, but we are capped at 2, so you have to find $2K in cuts to ‘pay’ for the raise.

            Hence: layoffs. Some teachers are laid off so that other teachers can have 4% raises.

            If you paid a teacher $1.00 — just one dollar — for an entire year’s work, you would have the same problem. The contract would require that he or she be paid $1.04 next year, and you would have to find two cents in cuts to pay for the 4 percent raise. Four isn’t two – and four never becomes two no matter how “small” the numbers you’re dealing with.

            In short, the absolute dollar amount doesn’t matter; it’s the percent change that counts. So the problem isn’t that Irvington teachers are earning “too much;” the problem is that the yearly increase in their compensation is twice the tax cap. The increases are increasing too fast. 

            THAT is the issue, and we can’t ‘cut’ our way out of it.

            Yes, we can close Main Street School and potentially save a great deal of money. But in terms of the tax cap, closing Main Street School is a one-time deal. We wouldn’t need layoffs the year we closed Main Street School, but the very next year we’d be back to square one because teachers are still getting 4% increases, and four isn’t two. To my knowledge, there’s no provision in the law allowing districts to ‘bank’ big savings in one school year to apply against the tax cap the next year.

            Yes, we can raise class size and save money, but that, too, is a one-time bonus to the budget. We would avoid layoffs that year, but the next year we’d be back to cutting.

            Yes, we can cut electives. Again: a one-time bonus to the budget.

            In each of these cases, cuts reduce spending, but they don’t fix the rate of increase. As long as we have a union contract in place that guarantees average annual increases of 4%, we can’t meet the tax cap without layoffs.

            The logic of percent change also means that encouraging older teachers to retire so we can hire much less costly young teachers actually makes the problem worse because new teachers receive Step increases every year (usually 3%), while older teachers don’t.

            We have only two possible solutions:

            • Persuade the union to agree to cap raises at 2%
            • Raise taxes by roughly 5 to 6% every year (a 4% budget increase is a 5 to 6% tax increase because of tax certs.)

            It’s conceivable there is a third option: generate enough revenue outside of the tax levy to make up the shortfall. Perhaps parents could fund raise as they do in California (where property taxes are much lower and must be shared with all schools in the state – very different situation) or the district could rent out Main Street School —- ?


            From: Catherine Johnson <cijohn@...>
            Reply-To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
            Date: Sat, 12 May 2012 15:37:20 -0400
            To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
            Subject: [irvingtonparentsforum] average increase teacher pay compared to private/govt - URL [2 Attachments]

             

          • Catherine Johnson
            Hi again - I ve just this moment realized that a lot of you don t get IPF posts until a couple of days later, so I need to get this posted now ---- I ve been
            Message 6 of 20 , May 13 7:06 PM
            • 0 Attachment
              Hi again -

              I've just this moment realized that a lot of you don't get IPF posts until a couple of days later, so I need to get this posted now ----

              I've been back and forth a bit with Bob G about the statement he made at the March 6, 2012 meeting:

              “The folks in the press can quote me. We will need to go over the tax cap next year.”
              March 6, 2012
              Tape #5
              20:53:55

              I can't tell what Bob's position is now, so I think we need to take this statement at face value.

              I don't believe Bob wants to break the tax cap. I don't think any of the candidates wants to break the tax cap.

              But I believe that if Robyne Camp is not re-elected, the board will break the tax cap next year, or try to. That's how things will end up.

              Only one candidate – Robyne Camp – has no children sitting in classes taught by members of the union, and only one candidate - Robyne Camp - has no intention of running again if she wins election this go–round. She is free and unencumbered in a way parents are not.

              Someone has got to at least ATTEMPT to get the union to limit raises to 2%, and it is very, very difficult for that someone to be a parent. Period. And, btw, I've discussed this with Maria K, who understands the issue and didn't need me to bring it up. I'm putting NO words in her mouth, and I'm not making a prediction about her as an individual.

              I'm making a prediction about a board that has 5 parents and no Robyne Camp.

              A board with 5 parents and no Robyne Camp at this juncture will break the cap. I will lay money on it.

              Three years ago, I also talked to Robyn K about union negotiations after a PTSA budget forum. My friend and I were asking her how union negotiations are actually handled – who does the negotiating, a hired attorney or the BOE member? Robyn said, "We're parents, we can't deal with the union." That's a quote, and of course she was right. Because parents face challenges dealing with the union, she said, the lawyers did the negotiating. That may well be the best way to go about it (I don't have the expertise to judge) --- but what concerns me isn't the specifics of negotiations but the willingness to "negotiate in public," which is what must be done now.

              As to negotiating in public, during BOE meetings two years ago, Robyn K and Bob G both said that there wouldn't be layoffs. Of course, that's what the parents in the audience wanted (and needed) to hear, but that is exactly what you can't say in public when you're in the middle of negotiations. The surest way to have layoffs is to say you won't have layoffs, and now we have layoffs.

              I'm not saying there are no parents who could pressure the union effectively (and I'm not saying either Della or Maria wouldn't or couldn't ---- they might.) I'm also not saying that the contract Bob and Phil negotiated is bad. It's much better than the one we had.

              I'm talking about the structural advantage of having at least one person on the board who has no children in the schools and no plans to run again.

              It's something to think about ---

              I'll finish up by pointing out that this is not the last election we'll ever have. I think at least a couple of the other candidates could be great board members, but they can be great board members the next election, too (although I know running twice is hard, of course - )

              Right now, we need to get the tax cap and the contract figured out. If we don't, we're heading toward a conflict between affluent parents who want to break the cap and less affluent everyone else who doesn't. It's going to be angry and it's going to be painful, and I don't think we should have to go through it. Not without at least trying to move the union to help.

              C.

            • David Lerer
              Catherine, I fully agree with you in regard to the the structural advantage you describe below. David. ... From: Catherine Johnson
              Message 7 of 20 , May 14 6:59 AM
              • 0 Attachment
                Catherine, I fully agree with you in regard to the "the structural advantage" you describe below.
                David.
                 
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2012 10:06 PM
                Subject: [irvingtonparentsforum] Grados: 'go over the tax cap next year'

                 

                Hi again -

                I've just this moment realized that a lot of you don't get IPF posts until a couple of days later, so I need to get this posted now ----

                I've been back and forth a bit with Bob G about the statement he made at the March 6, 2012 meeting:

                "The folks in the press can quote me. We will need to go over the tax cap next year."
                March 6, 2012
                Tape #5
                20:53:55

                I can't tell what Bob's position is now, so I think we need to take this statement at face value.

                I don't believe Bob wants to break the tax cap. I don't think any of the candidates wants to break the tax cap.

                But I believe that if Robyne Camp is not re-elected, the board will break the tax cap next year, or try to. That's how things will end up.

                Only one candidate - Robyne Camp - has no children sitting in classes taught by members of the union, and only one candidate - Robyne Camp - has no intention of running again if she wins election this go-round. She is free and unencumbered in a way parents are not.

                Someone has got to at least ATTEMPT to get the union to limit raises to 2%, and it is very, very difficult for that someone to be a parent. Period. And, btw, I've discussed this with Maria K, who understands the issue and didn't need me to bring it up. I'm putting NO words in her mouth, and I'm not making a prediction about her as an individual.

                I'm making a prediction about a board that has 5 parents and no Robyne Camp.

                A board with 5 parents and no Robyne Camp at this juncture will break the cap. I will lay money on it.

                Three years ago, I also talked to Robyn K about union negotiations after a PTSA budget forum. My friend and I were asking her how union negotiations are actually handled - who does the negotiating, a hired attorney or the BOE member? Robyn said, "We're parents, we can't deal with the union." That's a quote, and of course she was right. Because parents face challenges dealing with the union, she said, the lawyers did the negotiating. That may well be the best way to go about it (I don't have the expertise to judge) --- but what concerns me isn't the specifics of negotiations but the willingness to "negotiate in public," which is what must be done now.

                As to negotiating in public, during BOE meetings two years ago, Robyn K and Bob G both said that there wouldn't be layoffs. Of course, that's what the parents in the audience wanted (and needed) to hear, but that is exactly what you can't say in public when you're in the middle of negotiations. The surest way to have layoffs is to say you won't have layoffs, and now we have layoffs.

                I'm not saying there are no parents who could pressure the union effectively (and I'm not saying either Della or Maria wouldn't or couldn't ---- they might.) I'm also not saying that the contract Bob and Phil negotiated is bad. It's much better than the one we had.

                I'm talking about the structural advantage of having at least one person on the board who has no children in the schools and no plans to run again.

                It's something to think about ---

                I'll finish up by pointing out that this is not the last election we'll ever have. I think at least a couple of the other candidates could be great board members, but they can be great board members the next election, too (although I know running twice is hard, of course - )

                Right now, we need to get the tax cap and the contract figured out. If we don't, we're heading toward a conflict between affluent parents who want to break the cap and less affluent everyone else who doesn't. It's going to be angry and it's going to be painful, and I don't think we should have to go through it. Not without at least trying to move the union to help.

                C.

              • francisgoudie@verizon.net
                Seems to me the only reasonable course of action for people who comprehend the arithmetic is to cast a single vote for Camp. The reason we got to this point is
                Message 8 of 20 , May 14 7:14 AM
                • 0 Attachment
                  Seems to me the only reasonable course of action for people who comprehend the arithmetic is to cast a single vote for Camp.  The reason we got to this point is the myopic actions of Boards over the early 2000's and late 1990's.  Why invite that behavior back to Irvington? 
                   
                   
                   
                  Francis Goudie
                  119 N Broadway
                  Irvington, NY 10533
                   
                  On 05/13/12, Catherine Johnson<cijohn@...> wrote:
                   
                   

                  Hi again -

                  I've just this moment realized that a lot of you don't get IPF posts until a couple of days later, so I need to get this posted now ----

                  I've been back and forth a bit with Bob G about the statement he made at the March 6, 2012 meeting:

                  “The folks in the press can quote me. We will need to go over the tax cap next year.”
                  March 6, 2012
                  Tape #5
                  20:53:55

                  I can't tell what Bob's position is now, so I think we need to take this statement at face value.

                  I don't believe Bob wants to break the tax cap. I don't think any of the candidates wants to break the tax cap.

                  But I believe that if Robyne Camp is not re-elected, the board will break the tax cap next year, or try to. That's how things will end up.

                  Only one candidate – Robyne Camp – has no children sitting in classes taught by members of the union, and only one candidate - Robyne Camp - has no intention of running again if she wins election this go–round. She is free and unencumbered in a way parents are not.

                  Someone has got to at least ATTEMPT to get the union to limit raises to 2%, and it is very, very difficult for that someone to be a parent. Period. And, btw, I've discussed this with Maria K, who understands the issue and didn't need me to bring it up. I'm putting NO words in her mouth, and I'm not making a prediction about her as an individual.

                  I'm making a prediction about a board that has 5 parents and no Robyne Camp.

                  A board with 5 parents and no Robyne Camp at this juncture will break the cap. I will lay money on it.

                  Three years ago, I also talked to Robyn K about union negotiations after a PTSA budget forum. My friend and I were asking her how union negotiations are actually handled – who does the negotiating, a hired attorney or the BOE member? Robyn said, "We're parents, we can't deal with the union." That's a quote, and of course she was right. Because parents face challenges dealing with the union, she said, the lawyers did the negotiating. That may well be the best way to go about it (I don't have the expertise to judge) --- but what concerns me isn't the specifics of negotiations but the willingness to "negotiate in public," which is what must be done now.

                  As to negotiating in public, during BOE meetings two years ago, Robyn K and Bob G both said that there wouldn't be layoffs. Of course, that's what the parents in the audience wanted (and needed) to hear, but that is exactly what you can't say in public when you're in the middle of negotiations. The surest way to have layoffs is to say you won't have layoffs, and now we have layoffs.

                  I'm not saying there are no parents who could pressure the union effectively (and I'm not saying either Della or Maria wouldn't or couldn't ---- they might.) I'm also not saying that the contract Bob and Phil negotiated is bad. It's much better than the one we had.

                  I'm talking about the structural advantage of having at least one person on the board who has no children in the schools and no plans to run again.

                  It's something to think about ---

                  I'll finish up by pointing out that this is not the last election we'll ever have. I think at least a couple of the other candidates could be great board members, but they can be great board members the next election, too (although I know running twice is hard, of course - )

                  Right now, we need to get the tax cap and the contract figured out. If we don't, we're heading toward a conflict between affluent parents who want to break the cap and less affluent everyone else who doesn't. It's going to be angry and it's going to be painful, and I don't think we should have to go through it. Not without at least trying to move the union to help.

                  C.

                • francisgoudie@verizon.net
                  I deal with unionized construction craft labor on a daily basis, and I can tell you that in NYC, the Real Estate Boards and the municipal agency commissioners
                  Message 9 of 20 , May 14 7:25 AM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I deal with unionized construction craft labor on a daily basis, and I can tell you that in NYC, the Real Estate Boards and the municipal agency commissioners have changed union contracts a LOT over the past decade. The bad old days of featherbedding and over-manning are more and more a thing of the past.  And the union bosses have blinked repeatedly....they had to, or their membership wouldn't have had any jobs.  Of course, the people who stared them down weren't soccer moms: they're strong willed, determined pros who understood that the status quo wasn't sustainable, and they weren't afraid to step on a couple of toes.  They let their adversaries know that the battle was on, and that the old way of doing things was over.  As long as this board capitulates, and sends mushy messages, nothing, nothing will change here.
                     
                     
                     
                    Francis Goudie
                    119 N Broadway
                    Irvington, NY 10533
                     
                    On 05/13/12, Catherine Johnson<cijohn@...> wrote:
                     
                     


                    Hi again - 

                    I did a VERY rough estimate of the number of layoffs we're likely to need next year to stay within the tax cap — looks like maybe 6 FTEs to me.


                    Catherine


                    From: Catherine Johnson <cijohn@...>
                    Reply-To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
                    Date: Sun, 13 May 2012 19:53:41 -0400
                    To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
                    Subject: [irvingtonparentsforum] 4 is not 2 - why we can't cut our way out

                     


                    Hi everyone – I've found that quite a few people stumble when they think about percent change (makes sense because cognitive scientists find that multiplication and fractions aren't intuitive ---- ) 

                    Here's how I've started explaining the situation we're in to people who aren't fluent in percent …. 

                    Catherine

                    ++++++++;

                    The basic issue we face is simple arithmetic: taxes are capped at two percent, but the contract promises 4.

                    According to an estimate by the Assistant Superintendent, under the new contract the average teacher in Irvington will receive roughly a 4% increase in compensation each year until June 2016.

                    Four is not two. That is the problem.

                    Although “four is not two” is obvious, percent change is not. With percent change, a number that sounds “small” can actually be “large” if it represents a large percent change.

                    Here is the way I’ve started to explain it:

                    Under the Irvington contract, if you pay a teacher $100K this year, you have to pay him or her $104K next year, on average.

                    That is a 4% increase, but we are capped at 2, so you have to find $2K in cuts to ‘pay’ for the raise.

                    Hence: layoffs. Some teachers are laid off so that other teachers can have 4% raises.

                    If you paid a teacher $1.00 — just one dollar — for an entire year’s work, you would have the same problem. The contract would require that he or she be paid $1.04 next year, and you would have to find two cents in cuts to pay for the 4 percent raise. Four isn’t two – and four never becomes two no matter how “small” the numbers you’re dealing with.

                    In short, the absolute dollar amount doesn’t matter; it’s the percent change that counts. So the problem isn’t that Irvington teachers are earning “too much;” the problem is that the yearly increase in their compensation is twice the tax cap. The increases are increasing too fast. 

                    THAT is the issue, and we can’t ‘cut’ our way out of it.

                    Yes, we can close Main Street School and potentially save a great deal of money. But in terms of the tax cap, closing Main Street School is a one-time deal. We wouldn’t need layoffs the year we closed Main Street School, but the very next year we’d be back to square one because teachers are still getting 4% increases, and four isn’t two. To my knowledge, there’s no provision in the law allowing districts to ‘bank’ big savings in one school year to apply against the tax cap the next year.

                    Yes, we can raise class size and save money, but that, too, is a one-time bonus to the budget. We would avoid layoffs that year, but the next year we’d be back to cutting.

                    Yes, we can cut electives. Again: a one-time bonus to the budget.

                    In each of these cases, cuts reduce spending, but they don’t fix the rate of increase. As long as we have a union contract in place that guarantees average annual increases of 4%, we can’t meet the tax cap without layoffs.

                    The logic of percent change also means that encouraging older teachers to retire so we can hire much less costly young teachers actually makes the problem worse because new teachers receive Step increases every year (usually 3%), while older teachers don’t.

                    We have only two possible solutions:

                    • Persuade the union to agree to cap raises at 2%
                    • Raise taxes by roughly 5 to 6% every year (a 4% budget increase is a 5 to 6% tax increase because of tax certs.)

                    It’s conceivable there is a third option: generate enough revenue outside of the tax levy to make up the shortfall. Perhaps parents could fund raise as they do in California (where property taxes are much lower and must be shared with all schools in the state – very different situation) or the district could rent out Main Street School —- ?


                    From: Catherine Johnson <cijohn@...>
                    Reply-To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
                    Date: Sat, 12 May 2012 15:37:20 -0400
                    To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
                    Subject: [irvingtonparentsforum] average increase teacher pay compared to private/govt - URL [2 Attachments]

                     

                  • Les
                    Some time ago, in a district near and close, a superintendent was appointment by a board of education for a very good salary and a five year contract. Hard as
                    Message 10 of 20 , May 14 10:38 AM
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                      Some time ago, in a district near and close, a superintendent was appointment by a board of education for a very good salary and a five year contract.

                      Hard as it might seem to imagine,that superintendent was given a five year extension after her first year, not once, not twice, but I believe 3 times.

                      The district then decided not to renew the contract, or she decided to resign (it was never clear actually) and the district was obligated to buy out terms that were lucrative.

                      A member of the board which made those Enron type extension decisions is on the ballot once again.

                      I presume the district will not learn, but we shall see.

                      The issue is not just a bad union contract, but judgement and strength, both financially and academically.



                    • David Rose
                      So if Robyne Camp is not re-elected, why not have her still do the negotiations with the union? If we paid lawyers to do it, we can certainly have Robyne do
                      Message 11 of 20 , May 14 11:33 AM
                      • 0 Attachment
                        So if Robyne Camp is not re-elected, why not have her still do the negotiations with the union?  If we paid lawyers to do it, we can certainly have Robyne do it for us and probably for a lot less money!  But this whole supposition is really based on the if...


                        From: irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Lerer
                        Sent: Monday, May 14, 2012 9:59 AM
                        To: irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com; Catherine Johnson
                        Subject: Re: [irvingtonparentsforum] Grados: 'go over the tax cap next year'

                         

                        Catherine, I fully agree with you in regard to the "the structural advantage" you describe below.
                        David.
                         
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2012 10:06 PM
                        Subject: [irvingtonparentsforum] Grados: 'go over the tax cap next year'

                         

                        Hi again -

                        I've just this moment realized that a lot of you don't get IPF posts until a couple of days later, so I need to get this posted now ----

                        I've been back and forth a bit with Bob G about the statement he made at the March 6, 2012 meeting:

                        "The folks in the press can quote me. We will need to go over the tax cap next year."
                        March 6, 2012
                        Tape #5
                        20:53:55

                        I can't tell what Bob's position is now, so I think we need to take this statement at face value.

                        I don't believe Bob wants to break the tax cap. I don't think any of the candidates wants to break the tax cap.

                        But I believe that if Robyne Camp is not re-elected, the board will break the tax cap next year, or try to. That's how things will end up.

                        Only one candidate - Robyne Camp - has no children sitting in classes taught by members of the union, and only one candidate - Robyne Camp - has no intention of running again if she wins election this go-round. She is free and unencumbered in a way parents are not.

                        Someone has got to at least ATTEMPT to get the union to limit raises to 2%, and it is very, very difficult for that someone to be a parent. Period. And, btw, I've discussed this with Maria K, who understands the issue and didn't need me to bring it up. I'm putting NO words in her mouth, and I'm not making a prediction about her as an individual.

                        I'm making a prediction about a board that has 5 parents and no Robyne Camp.

                        A board with 5 parents and no Robyne Camp at this juncture will break the cap. I will lay money on it.

                        Three years ago, I also talked to Robyn K about union negotiations after a PTSA budget forum. My friend and I were asking her how union negotiations are actually handled - who does the negotiating, a hired attorney or the BOE member? Robyn said, "We're parents, we can't deal with the union." That's a quote, and of course she was right. Because parents face challenges dealing with the union, she said, the lawyers did the negotiating. That may well be the best way to go about it (I don't have the expertise to judge) --- but what concerns me isn't the specifics of negotiations but the willingness to "negotiate in public," which is what must be done now.

                        As to negotiating in public, during BOE meetings two years ago, Robyn K and Bob G both said that there wouldn't be layoffs. Of course, that's what the parents in the audience wanted (and needed) to hear, but that is exactly what you can't say in public when you're in the middle of negotiations. The surest way to have layoffs is to say you won't have layoffs, and now we have layoffs.

                        I'm not saying there are no parents who could pressure the union effectively (and I'm not saying either Della or Maria wouldn't or couldn't ---- they might.) I'm also not saying that the contract Bob and Phil negotiated is bad. It's much better than the one we had.

                        I'm talking about the structural advantage of having at least one person on the board who has no children in the schools and no plans to run again.

                        It's something to think about ---

                        I'll finish up by pointing out that this is not the last election we'll ever have. I think at least a couple of the other candidates could be great board members, but they can be great board members the next election, too (although I know running twice is hard, of course - )

                        Right now, we need to get the tax cap and the contract figured out. If we don't, we're heading toward a conflict between affluent parents who want to break the cap and less affluent everyone else who doesn't. It's going to be angry and it's going to be painful, and I don't think we should have to go through it. Not without at least trying to move the union to help.

                        C.

                      • Catherine
                        Hey David - Oh, man - I think you re getting Robyne in trouble here! What Robyne can do -- or can take the lead in doing -- is to negotiate in public. That
                        Message 12 of 20 , May 14 1:03 PM
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Hey David -

                          Oh, man - I think you're getting Robyne in trouble here!

                          What Robyne can do -- or can take the lead in doing -- is to 'negotiate in public.' That is what must happen, and it's clear to me that neither Bob nor Phil - (nor Robyn K nor Maria) - is willing to do it (or at least to **initiate** it.)

                          Della Lenz will certainly talk to the union, because Della is irrepressible! (An excellent quality, and one we need in this situation.)

                          The fact is: here in New York, due to laws like the Triborough Amendment, public sector negotiations must have a public component. That's just the way it is.

                          What would that public component be in our case?

                          Well, for starters, we know that the average teacher increase in compensation each year is twice the tax cap. The board needs to say so out loud, post it on the website, and generally publicize this core fact. It is the source of our problems.

                          We also know - and the board knows - that we're facing something in the neighborhood of 6 layoffs next year. The board needs to acknowledge this reality **now** and publicly ask the union for help: help in meeting the tax cap when so many here are struggling, and help in saving their young colleagues' jobs. Union members care about these things, and they'll think it through.

                          (I'll re-post the leaked minutes from the Eastchester union meeting later on. Throughout that meeting, you hear teachers saying things like 'I'm willing to earn less if it means other teachers keep their jobs.' Teachers tend to be altruistic people.)

                          The board should probably recruit or hire an accountant to create a simple, easily understandable presentation showing exactly what happens to the school, to the staff, ***and to the taxpayers*** under the various scenarios.

                          That presentation should include an estimate of the number of people who will be forced to move if we increase taxes by 5 to 6% each year, and it should include a clear demonstration of just how expensive college is, how fast those costs are rising, and how difficult it's going to be for many parents to fund 4% raises while also trying to save for college. In short, the human cost of breaking the tax cap each and every year should be made as visible to the community as the loss of a guidance counselor is now.

                          (And, yes, I know that some taxpayers can well afford to pay a 5- to 6% tax increase each year. But many cannot.)

                          There are a number of other things that could be done, I think, but in the wake of Phil's letter, which stresses parenthood (his own as well as Maria's and Robyn K's) as a criterion for serving on the school board, I am convinced that none of these things will occur if Phil and Bob's candidates win this election.

                          If Robyne and/or Della win this election (preferably Robyne **and** Della) I think the board will approach the union on our behalf. Will the union agree to cap raises at 2? Maybe not, but at least the BOE will have tried, and the community will know BOE tried.

                          I don't think any of this has to be nasty .... though feelings are likely to run high, of course.

                          But feelings are going to run very high if a board consisting of 5 parents of K-8 children decides to break the tax cap next year.

                          C.

                          --- In irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com, "David Rose" <davidjayrose@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > So if Robyne Camp is not re-elected, why not have her still do the
                          > negotiations with the union? If we paid lawyers to do it, we can certainly
                          > have Robyne do it for us and probably for a lot less money! But this whole
                          > supposition is really based on the if...
                          >
                          > _____
                          >
                          > From: irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com
                          > [mailto:irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Lerer
                          > Sent: Monday, May 14, 2012 9:59 AM
                          > To: irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com; Catherine Johnson
                          > Subject: Re: [irvingtonparentsforum] Grados: 'go over the tax cap next year'
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Catherine, I fully agree with you in regard to the "the structural
                          > advantage" you describe below.
                          > David.
                          >
                          >
                          > ----- Original Message -----
                          > From: Catherine Johnson <mailto:cijohn@...>
                          > To: Irvington Parents <mailto:irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com> Forum
                          > Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2012 10:06 PM
                          > Subject: [irvingtonparentsforum] Grados: 'go over the tax cap next year'
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Hi again -
                          >
                          > I've just this moment realized that a lot of you don't get IPF posts until a
                          > couple of days later, so I need to get this posted now ----
                          >
                          > I've been back and forth a bit with Bob G about the statement he made at the
                          > March 6, 2012 meeting:
                          >
                          > "The folks in the press can quote me. We will need to go over the tax cap
                          > next year."
                          > March 6, 2012
                          > Tape #5
                          > 20:53:55
                          >
                          > I can't tell what Bob's position is now, so I think we need to take this
                          > statement at face value.
                          >
                          > I don't believe Bob wants to break the tax cap. I don't think any of the
                          > candidates wants to break the tax cap.
                          >
                          > But I believe that if Robyne Camp is not re-elected, the board will break
                          > the tax cap next year, or try to. That's how things will end up.
                          >
                          > Only one candidate - Robyne Camp - has no children sitting in classes taught
                          > by members of the union, and only one candidate - Robyne Camp - has no
                          > intention of running again if she wins election this go-round. She is free
                          > and unencumbered in a way parents are not.
                          >
                          > Someone has got to at least ATTEMPT to get the union to limit raises to 2%,
                          > and it is very, very difficult for that someone to be a parent. Period. And,
                          > btw, I've discussed this with Maria K, who understands the issue and didn't
                          > need me to bring it up. I'm putting NO words in her mouth, and I'm not
                          > making a prediction about her as an individual.
                          >
                          > I'm making a prediction about a board that has 5 parents and no Robyne Camp.
                          >
                          >
                          > A board with 5 parents and no Robyne Camp at this juncture will break the
                          > cap. I will lay money on it.
                          >
                          > Three years ago, I also talked to Robyn K about union negotiations after a
                          > PTSA budget forum. My friend and I were asking her how union negotiations
                          > are actually handled - who does the negotiating, a hired attorney or the BOE
                          > member? Robyn said, "We're parents, we can't deal with the union." That's a
                          > quote, and of course she was right. Because parents face challenges dealing
                          > with the union, she said, the lawyers did the negotiating. That may well be
                          > the best way to go about it (I don't have the expertise to judge) --- but
                          > what concerns me isn't the specifics of negotiations but the willingness to
                          > "negotiate in public," which is what must be done now.
                          >
                          > As to negotiating in public, during BOE meetings two years ago, Robyn K and
                          > Bob G both said that there wouldn't be layoffs. Of course, that's what the
                          > parents in the audience wanted (and needed) to hear, but that is exactly
                          > what you can't say in public when you're in the middle of negotiations. The
                          > surest way to have layoffs is to say you won't have layoffs, and now we have
                          > layoffs.
                          >
                          > I'm not saying there are no parents who could pressure the union effectively
                          > (and I'm not saying either Della or Maria wouldn't or couldn't ---- they
                          > might.) I'm also not saying that the contract Bob and Phil negotiated is
                          > bad. It's much better than the one we had.
                          >
                          > I'm talking about the structural advantage of having at least one person on
                          > the board who has no children in the schools and no plans to run again.
                          >
                          > It's something to think about ---
                          >
                          > I'll finish up by pointing out that this is not the last election we'll ever
                          > have. I think at least a couple of the other candidates could be great board
                          > members, but they can be great board members the next election, too
                          > (although I know running twice is hard, of course - )
                          >
                          > Right now, we need to get the tax cap and the contract figured out. If we
                          > don't, we're heading toward a conflict between affluent parents who want to
                          > break the cap and less affluent everyone else who doesn't. It's going to be
                          > angry and it's going to be painful, and I don't think we should have to go
                          > through it. Not without at least trying to move the union to help.
                          >
                          > C.
                          >
                        • David Rose
                          Just saying that if we paid lawyers to do it, it means board members don t have to do it, so it s not a huge plus for voters as a means to having someone on
                          Message 13 of 20 , May 14 1:52 PM
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Just saying that if we paid lawyers to do it, it means board members don't have to do it, so it's not a huge plus for voters as a means to having someone on the board who can or cannot negotiate.  Which leads me to this - are there job descriptions for board members?  Must they agree to negotiate with the union?  Probably not because as was said before, we've had lawyers do it.
                             
                            I'm not writing about this because of any endorsement - I'm not publicly endorsing anyone here or anywhere - my vote is private.  And this has nothing to do with Robyne.  It's about the topic of negotiating with unions.  I just thought the ability or desire or lack of desire to negotiate with the union was not so important, in fact it speaks to a much larger concern I have, and that's why won't most parents do it?  Because their kids would be treated poorly by the teachers if they believed the teachers got a raw deal?  Maybe true but hard to believe it is true.  Just saying... somethings wrong with this picture.


                            From: irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Catherine
                            Sent: Monday, May 14, 2012 4:03 PM
                            To: irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [irvingtonparentsforum] Re: Grados: 'go over the tax cap next year'

                             

                            Hey David -

                            Oh, man - I think you're getting Robyne in trouble here!

                            What Robyne can do -- or can take the lead in doing -- is to 'negotiate in public.' That is what must happen, and it's clear to me that neither Bob nor Phil - (nor Robyn K nor Maria) - is willing to do it (or at least to **initiate** it.)

                            Della Lenz will certainly talk to the union, because Della is irrepressible! (An excellent quality, and one we need in this situation.)

                            The fact is: here in New York, due to laws like the Triborough Amendment, public sector negotiations must have a public component. That's just the way it is.

                            What would that public component be in our case?

                            Well, for starters, we know that the average teacher increase in compensation each year is twice the tax cap. The board needs to say so out loud, post it on the website, and generally publicize this core fact. It is the source of our problems.

                            We also know - and the board knows - that we're facing something in the neighborhood of 6 layoffs next year. The board needs to acknowledge this reality **now** and publicly ask the union for help: help in meeting the tax cap when so many here are struggling, and help in saving their young colleagues' jobs. Union members care about these things, and they'll think it through.

                            (I'll re-post the leaked minutes from the Eastchester union meeting later on. Throughout that meeting, you hear teachers saying things like 'I'm willing to earn less if it means other teachers keep their jobs.' Teachers tend to be altruistic people.)

                            The board should probably recruit or hire an accountant to create a simple, easily understandable presentation showing exactly what happens to the school, to the staff, ***and to the taxpayers*** under the various scenarios.

                            That presentation should include an estimate of the number of people who will be forced to move if we increase taxes by 5 to 6% each year, and it should include a clear demonstration of just how expensive college is, how fast those costs are rising, and how difficult it's going to be for many parents to fund 4% raises while also trying to save for college. In short, the human cost of breaking the tax cap each and every year should be made as visible to the community as the loss of a guidance counselor is now.

                            (And, yes, I know that some taxpayers can well afford to pay a 5- to 6% tax increase each year. But many cannot.)

                            There are a number of other things that could be done, I think, but in the wake of Phil's letter, which stresses parenthood (his own as well as Maria's and Robyn K's) as a criterion for serving on the school board, I am convinced that none of these things will occur if Phil and Bob's candidates win this election.

                            If Robyne and/or Della win this election (preferably Robyne **and** Della) I think the board will approach the union on our behalf. Will the union agree to cap raises at 2? Maybe not, but at least the BOE will have tried, and the community will know BOE tried.

                            I don't think any of this has to be nasty .... though feelings are likely to run high, of course.

                            But feelings are going to run very high if a board consisting of 5 parents of K-8 children decides to break the tax cap next year.

                            C.

                            --- In irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com, "David Rose" <davidjayrose@...> wrote:

                            >
                            > So if Robyne Camp
                            is not re-elected, why not have her still do the
                            > negotiations with the
                            union? If we paid lawyers to do it, we can certainly
                            > have Robyne do it
                            for us and probably for a lot less money! But this whole
                            > supposition is
                            really based on the if...
                            >
                            > _____
                            >
                            > From:
                            href="mailto:irvingtonparentsforum%40yahoogroups.com">irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com
                            >
                            [mailto:irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Lerer
                            > Sent: Monday, May 14, 2012 9:59 AM
                            > To:
                            irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com; Catherine Johnson
                            > Subject: Re: [irvingtonparentsforum] Grados: 'go over
                            the tax cap next year'
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            Catherine, I fully agree with you in regard to the "the structural
                            >
                            advantage" you describe below.
                            > David.
                            >
                            >
                            > -----
                            Original Message -----
                            > From: Catherine Johnson
                            <mailto:cijohn@...>
                            > To: Irvington Parents <mailto:
                            href="mailto:irvingtonparentsforum%40yahoogroups.com">irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com> Forum
                            > Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2012 10:06 PM
                            > Subject:
                            [irvingtonparentsforum] Grados: 'go over the tax cap next year'
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Hi again -
                            >
                            > I've just this moment realized
                            that a lot of you don't get IPF posts until a
                            > couple of days later, so I
                            need to get this posted now ----
                            >
                            > I've been back and forth a
                            bit with Bob G about the statement he made at the
                            > March 6, 2012
                            meeting:
                            >
                            > "The folks in the press can quote me. We will need to
                            go over the tax cap
                            > next year."
                            > March 6, 2012
                            > Tape
                            #5
                            > 20:53:55
                            >
                            > I can't tell what Bob's position is now, so
                            I think we need to take this
                            > statement at face value.
                            >
                            > I
                            don't believe Bob wants to break the tax cap. I don't think any of the
                            >
                            candidates wants to break the tax cap.
                            >
                            > But I believe that if
                            Robyne Camp is not re-elected, the board will break
                            > the tax cap next
                            year, or try to. That's how things will end up.
                            >
                            > Only one
                            candidate - Robyne Camp - has no children sitting in classes taught
                            > by
                            members of the union, and only one candidate - Robyne Camp - has no
                            >
                            intention of running again if she wins election this go-round. She is free
                            > and unencumbered in a way parents are not.
                            >
                            >
                            Someone has got to at least ATTEMPT to get the union to limit raises to 2%,
                            > and it is very, very difficult for that someone to be a parent.
                            Period. And,
                            > btw, I've discussed this with Maria K, who understands the
                            issue and didn't
                            > need me to bring it up. I'm putting NO words in her
                            mouth, and I'm not
                            > making a prediction about her as an individual.
                            >
                            > I'm making a prediction about a board that has 5 parents and
                            no Robyne Camp.
                            >
                            >
                            > A board with 5 parents and no Robyne
                            Camp at this juncture will break the
                            > cap. I will lay money on
                            it.
                            >
                            > Three years ago, I also talked to Robyn K about union
                            negotiations after a
                            > PTSA budget forum. My friend and I were asking her
                            how union negotiations
                            > are actually handled - who does the negotiating,
                            a hired attorney or the BOE
                            > member? Robyn said, "We're parents, we can't
                            deal with the union." That's a
                            > quote, and of course she was right.
                            Because parents face challenges dealing
                            > with the union, she said, the
                            lawyers did the negotiating. That may well be
                            > the best way to go about
                            it (I don't have the expertise to judge) --- but
                            > what concerns me isn't
                            the specifics of negotiations but the willingness to
                            > "negotiate in
                            public," which is what must be done now.
                            >
                            > As to negotiating in
                            public, during BOE meetings two years ago, Robyn K and
                            > Bob G both said
                            that there wouldn't be layoffs. Of course, that's what the
                            > parents in
                            the audience wanted (and needed) to hear, but that is exactly
                            > what you
                            can't say in public when you're in the middle of negotiations. The
                            >
                            surest way to have layoffs is to say you won't have layoffs, and now we have
                            > layoffs.
                            >
                            > I'm not saying there are no parents who
                            could pressure the union effectively
                            > (and I'm not saying either Della or
                            Maria wouldn't or couldn't ---- they
                            > might.) I'm also not saying that
                            the contract Bob and Phil negotiated is
                            > bad. It's much better than the
                            one we had.
                            >
                            > I'm talking about the structural advantage of
                            having at least one person on
                            > the board who has no children in the
                            schools and no plans to run again.
                            >
                            > It's something to think
                            about ---
                            >
                            > I'll finish up by pointing out that this is not the
                            last election we'll ever
                            > have. I think at least a couple of the other
                            candidates could be great board
                            > members, but they can be great board
                            members the next election, too
                            > (although I know running twice is hard,
                            of course - )
                            >
                            > Right now, we need to get the tax cap and the
                            contract figured out. If we
                            > don't, we're heading toward a conflict
                            between affluent parents who want to
                            > break the cap and less affluent
                            everyone else who doesn't. It's going to be
                            > angry and it's going to be
                            painful, and I don't think we should have to go
                            > through it. Not without
                            at least trying to move the union to help.
                            >
                            >
                            C.
                            >

                          • Catherine
                            John D has alerted me to a mistake in this post -- I left out social security in the second set of figures (and shifted the figures to the wrong categories).
                            Message 14 of 20 , May 29 11:18 AM
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                              John D has alerted me to a mistake in this post -- I left out social security in the second set of figures (and shifted the figures to the wrong categories).

                              This should be correct (and include Life Insurance & Disability insurance as well, neither of which will change year to year).

                              (source: Assistant Superintendent - typos mine, not hers)

                              Catherine

                              2011-12
                              Average teacher salary $96,400
                              Social Security $7,374.60
                              TRS pension $10,710.04
                              Health insurance $15,159.63
                              Life Insurance $84.00 ($7 per month x 12 months)
                              Disability Insurance $144.00
                              TOTAL: $129,872.27

                              2012-13
                              Average teacher salary: $99,150.00
                              Social Security $7,584.97
                              TRS pension: $11,739.36
                              Health insurance: $16,265.42
                              Life Insurance $84.00 ($7 per month x 12 months)
                              Disability Insurance $144.00
                              TOTAL: $134,967.75

                              2011-12 enrollment = 1756
                              2012-13 projected enrollment = 1740 (as presented at BOE meeting)
                              2012-13 budget: $51,156,000
                              2012-13 per pupil spending $29,400
                              310 employees (including 180 teachers)

                              http://irvingtonschools.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/4-average-increase-in-teacher-compensation-year-to-year/

                              --- In irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com, Catherine Johnson <cijohn@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Average teacher cost of compensation (w/o life insurance, disability
                              > insurance, workers comp, & lane increases):
                              >
                              > 2011-12: $129,644.27
                              > 2012-13: $134,739.75
                              >
                              > Percent change: 3.93%
                              >
                              > =================
                              >
                              > Hi everyone -
                              >
                              > These are Bev M's figures for average cost of compensation year-on-year. She
                              > didn't include life insurance etc because those figures are the same rate
                              > this year and next.
                              >
                              > I don't think these figures include lane increases ­ but I'll correct that
                              > statement if they do. We aren't paying a lot of lane increases these days
                              > due to faculty age. I *think* the number of teachers receiving lane
                              > increases next year is below 10, but I don't know.
                              >
                              > Lane increases are raises received upon completion of further education, and
                              > they run around 5%.
                              >
                              > Catherine
                              >
                              > Here's the complete set of figures:
                              >
                              > 2011-12
                              > Average teacher salary $96,400
                              > Social Security $7,374.60
                              > TRS pension $10,710.04
                              > Health insurance $15,159.63
                              > TOTAL: $129,644.27
                              >
                              > 2012-2013
                              > Average teacher salary: $99,150.00
                              > TRS pension: $7,584.97
                              > Health insurance: $11,739.36
                              > TOTAL: $134,739.75
                              >
                              > PERCENT CHANGE: 3.93%
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > From: Gordon Elliot <elliotgo@...>
                              > Reply-To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
                              > Date: Wed, 09 May 2012 22:30:38 -0400
                              > To: Irvington Parents Forum <irvingtonparentsforum@yahoogroups.com>
                              > Subject: Re: [irvingtonparentsforum] 2 candidates will approach union
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Catherine,
                              >
                              > I love that line: "The simple solution to all of our problems is to cap
                              > raises at 2%. No more layoffs! Young teachers can keep their jobs, students
                              > can keep their teachers, and the non-rich can keep their homes"
                              > Gordon
                              > On Wed, May 9, 2012 at 9:54 PM, Catherine <hillisjohnson@...> wrote:
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > Hi everyone -
                              > >
                              > > I think the headline news from last night is that two candidates, Robyne Camp
                              > > & Della Lenz, both independently brought up the rate of increase in teacher
                              > > compensation under the new contract. Robyne Camp puts it at 4%; Della Lenz
                              > > puts it at 5%. Both said that if elected they will ask the union to bring that
                              > > figure down, and both expressed optimism that the union will help.
                              > >
                              > > fyi: I've been in touch with Beverly M, who puts the average increase in
                              > > teacher compensation next year at 4% (3.93% to be exact). I'll get the figures
                              > > posted tomorrow.
                              > >
                              > > That 4% (or 5%) is our problem.
                              > >
                              > > The tax cap is 2%.
                              > >
                              > > The contract is 4%.
                              > >
                              > > You can't pay 4% raises with a 2% increase in taxes.
                              > >
                              > > The simple solution to all of our problems is to cap raises at 2%. No more
                              > > layoffs! Young teachers can keep their jobs, students can keep their teachers,
                              > > and the non-rich can keep their homes.
                              > >
                              > > I'll get more of my notes posted tomorrow.
                              > >
                              > > Catherine
                              > >
                              > > You may be able to click on the link below to see the percent change in
                              > > average wages in the private sector since the crash.
                              > >
                              > > http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/fredgraph.png?&id=ECIWAG&scale=Left
                              > > &range=Custom&cosd=2006-06-01&coed=2012-01-01&line_color=%230000ff&link_values
                              > > =false&line_style=Solid&mark_type=NONE&mw=4&lw=1&ost=-99999&oet=99999&mma=0&fm
                              > > l=a&fq=Quarterly&fam=avg&fgst=lin&transformation=pc1&vintage_date=2012-05-09&r
                              > > evision_date=2012-05-09
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              >
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