Sunday, January 31, 2010

One for all, all for one

Longmeadow has about half the total population of Amherst, with a property tax rate slightly higher ($18.28 vs. $16.95 per $1000), a school system consisting of three elementary schools with grades K-5, two middle schools with grades 6-8, and a single high school for a total school population of approximately 3,100 students or almost exactly the same as Amherst's 3,086.

Longmeadow's $11,356 per pupil expenditure is well below Amherst's $15, 223 at the elementary level ($16,131 at the Regional High School) or a difference of over $12 million per year.

The Longmeadow School Committee just announced a two-year teacher contract with ZERO Cost Of Living Allowance; and only a 1% step increase both for the current Fiscal Year (2010) and FY 2011 that starts July 1.

Amherst teachers finagled a 3% COLA in FY11 (in FY10 it was 3.5%) and about half the teachers will also receive an additional step increase of 4%. This combo alone comes to $1.3 million next year.

If our diffident School Committee had negotiated the same contract benefits (besides staying employed) of only 1% step increases next year, it would make a million dollar difference. And $1 million would obviate many, many teacher layoffs.

The Republican reports:


And The Republican reported way back when:

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

What criteria were used by the persons representing the tax payers in prior negotiations with the teachers union in Amherst?

How can we get costs in Amherst for school system personnel in line with other school systems?

Anonymous said...

you are sounding more and more like a union buster. what do you think of the police union? firefighters?
anonymously yours.

LarryK4 said...

You're sounding more and more like a highly paid union flack.

Anonymous said...

Answer the question, larry.

LarryK4 said...

As Scott Brown said to Martha Coakley: "I'm not in your court room, and I'm not a defendant."

But sure, I'll answer your Cowardly, Anon, Nitwit question.

Keep in mind I was once a member of the Teamsters Union, at a time when the only Union larger was the Soviet Union--goes to show you how far back that was.

Police and Fire personnel, as vital public service safety providers, cannot go on strike. Therefore, their "unions" are toothless watchdogs with laryngitis.

Anonymous said...

Do you know what % they got for raises for the last few years? How about police and fire or town Hall employees?
Say, for the last 5 years?

LarryK4 said...

The most recent contract was for three years covering FY09 (2.5%),FY10 (3.5%) and upcoming FY11 (3%). FY 08 was 1%. These increases do not include Steps.

And if I had to guess, Police, Fire and DPW folks were probably the same percentages.

But by and large their average salary is way less than teachers (and there is way less of them).

Anonymous said...

nice.... so the major override opponent is an organized labor opponent. In fact it seems that your anti-override fervor is stoked by your anti-union sentiment.... It's interesting that you quote Scott Brown. Because I'm thinking you remember what the voters in Amherst said to Scott Brown.

Anonymous said...

Larry, you are living proof of the need for unions. Without them workers are powerless against having their pay cut and benefits slashed. Unions give them the collective voice that corporations and governments automatically have.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, we say how great they worked out for the auto industry.

Anonymous said...

I'm all in favor of raises however you can pump all you want but your not going to get water out of a dry well. My friends the well is now dry. Let's figure out how to increase the water level. I applaud Shaffer's attempt to build an industrial park but I think Amherst is a bit behind the curve. Hadley has beaten it to the punch. As someone who has been in business for 37 years Amherst's antibusiness stance is well founded. Amhest is controlled by 4-5 players that have sucked the life out of the town. The State thinks that by raising sales tax to 6.25 percent that business will grow? The town thinks that by aggressive parking ticketing that business will grow? You need to grow the wealth not rape it.

Anonymous said...

Larry, it's not the unions that ruined the American auto industry. It's the crappy cars they designed and built. They had plenty of money to pay for corporate jets, just not for designing quality cars.

Anonymous said...

Unions: the folks that brought you the middle class.

Anonymous said...

on one page:
1. "highly paid union flack"
2. "your Cowardly, Anon, Nitwit question."
3. "unions are toothless watchdogs with laryngitis"

I'm beginning to understand your politics and your anti-override position. Your opposition to the override is not about being more responsible or not wanting to pay more taxes to protect town services, it's not about suporting economic growth in town ...

You want to break - or bust - the unions who represent town workers. I guess there would be no greater trophy for the anti-union cause than to bust town unions in the republic of Amherst.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, if you look back over almost three years of this blog (or 25 years of Letters to the Editor) you will see nothing but anti-union sentiment.

You sir, are a Nitwit.

Anonymous said...

that was then, this is now.

LarryK4 said...

Only as good as your last post I guess.

Ed said...

Police and Fire personnel, as vital public service safety providers, cannot go on strike. Therefore, their "unions" are toothless watchdogs with laryngitis.

Damn it Larry, you have made me support the Never Educate Anyone (NEA) crowd.

First, teachers can no more strike than the fire/police can - the law is clear. Worse, they don't even have visible uniforms and hence can't do informational pickets.

Second, teachers (good ones) are no more going to talk to you about union issues when you are downtown with your kids than a firefighter is going to talk about union issues when your house is burning down. There are some (a few) in the teaching profession who are professional and care about the kids.

I am not going to defend the NEA or the Amherst teachers but as one who grew up on a teacher's salary, let me just say that we knew that whatever the teachers got would be whatever it was that the firefighters agreed to...

Ed said...

I like the Zero Sum approach: We say that the schools get $X and will get no more and THEY get to figure it out.

0h, and by the way, if educational quality declines, next year we deduct 10% off the top and we do the next the year after that, and you either realize that you have to do more with less or wind up unemployed.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

How many of the Longmeadow teachers have Master's degrees? PHDs?

3 of my daughter's teachers have PHDs. Shouldn't they be making more than in average school district?

Anonymous said...

http://amherstparkingtrap.com/

Ed said...

How many of the Longmeadow teachers have Master's degrees? PHDs?

First, I suspect they are EdDs, and the vast majority of them are "Social Justice" degrees. The thesis documents are public and on file in the library and I have read some -- you would be amazed.

Second, the job pays what the job pays. Some of those people driving the
PVTA buses have doctorates, should they be paid more?

Lots of folk in a college town have advanced degrees. Even Doctress Neutopia....

3 of my daughter's teachers have PHDs. Shouldn't they be making more than in average school district?

Shouldn't the educational outcome of this district be far above (not equal to) that of the average school district?

Anonymous said...

Slam.

Anonymous said...

"There are some (a few) in the teaching profession who are professional and care about the kids."

Welcome to little Ed's world, where only he ever had the right answer, and he was one of the "few" teachers who cared about kids.

Ed, you are a crusty, confused old man. You say you were a teacher, that you taught in the civil war, or your cousin did, or sime such nonsense. And then you bash every teacher but a few.

Hey Ed, I know teachers and with your evil attitude you would have been one sh**ty teacher.

Crawl back under your rock, now.

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