UNITED TEACHERS OF NORTHPORT
UPDATE # 19
MONDAY, APRIL 4, 2010
On behalf of the UTN Negotiations Team, I would like to thank you, our membership, for your overwhelming attendance at last Monday night’s Board of Education meeting! Those present were witness to a negotiations presentation by Board Counsel, John Gross.
In an unprecedented move, the District made the decision to open negotiations to the public by “complete disclosure” of negotiations positions and proposals. While Mr. Gross indicated that the UTN proposals presented were the last formal proposals, it was not completely clear to those present, or to those community members who have since viewed the presentation online, that there have been multiple UTN proposals discussed at the table which had not be reduced to writing. In the negotiations process, written proposals are a starting point for discussion. This is a common and acceptable practice.
Throughout the negotiations process, your UTN Negotiations Team has offered a number of financial proposals which would have achieved the District’s goal of annual multi-million dollar savings over several years. The District has maintained its position that only a hard-freeze (no salary increase and no step increment) is acceptable. As the UTN Team discussed greater savings to the District through a variety of means, including, but not limited to, 0% increases, deferred increment and deferred salary increases, the District sought additional hard freezes beyond their initial proposal of a one year hard freeze. Please be reminded that the District’s demands for hard freezes from the UTN have coincided with public disclosure of approximately $27 million in District fund balance reserves. Simply stated, we have offered zeroes while the District continued to increase its already “healthy and fully-funded reserves.”
As we continue through this process, we must remain UNITED. Please continue to read UTN Updates, e-mail alerts and attend building level and general membership meetings. Additionally, as we move forward and continue our “Unity Walks,” please be reminded that we are not to discontinue any pre-existing or prior-arranged activities, such as intramurals or extra help sessions, in order to participate. I congratulate our membership for its outstanding and unwavering professionalism throughout this challenging time!