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Plainview Teachers Agree to 4-Year Salary Freeze

District could still face budget shortfalls, officials say.

The 500 teachers and professional staff at the Plainview-Old Bethpage school district have agreed to a four-year salary freeze.

Dr. Lorna Lewis, superintendent of Plainview's schools, described the agreement as a "sacrifice" on the part of teachers and could help stop projected shortfalls in next year's budget.

She told Patch the salary schedule is exactly the same at the end of the four years. "I think this is a first and worthy of noting," she said.

"Our teachers recognized the sacrifice they had to make in order to preserve the integrity of our instructional program, and this is really a sacrifice," Lewis told Newsday.

Dr. Lewis is taking a pay freeze next year.

The 2011-15 contract includes no contractual raises over the four years. It allows for step increases in the first, second and fourth year, but not the third, Lewis said.

Newsday said the vote was "overwhelmingly in favor of the contract. Union officials couldn't be reached for comment.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced a proposal to cut about $50 million in "high tax" aid, including $38 million on Long Island. See more here at Newsday.

Jacksonian Democrat February 20, 2013 at 12:46 PM
According to the article, only some years had steps, not all. In any event, a step does not apply for everyone. If you are at the top of the scale, there is no step. It is a true freeze. Also, in may contracts steps don't apply every year. It all depends. This is a serious deal and the union should be commended for making some very difficult choices for the sake of these programs and our community.
JOE February 20, 2013 at 01:30 PM
The teachers agreed to the wage freeze because they had no choice. I would guess that they were told that there would be layoffs if the salaries did not freeze. This is only the beginning . The well is dry . The teacher salaries can not continue to climb. With 2% tax caps there will be further cuts to the budget . All the past fiscal recklessness is coming to a head and now we are in a financial hole that the school district has to get out of. The question remains : how many employees can we continue to pay 110K,125k, 150K. ? Then you have the issue of custodial overtime. I have seen some custodians at the school 7am and still there at another school at 6pm. Do we need to pay someone 15 of 20 hours overtime a week??. Once again we get back to the same issue. Fiscal irresponsiblity and inefficiency. How much money do we spend on paper and postage ? too much in the age of the internet and email.
local February 20, 2013 at 05:29 PM
our schools are not nearly as good as they used to be- teachers are not being held accountable-just look at all the intel science award winners all around us- schools to North and out east are blowing us away-
Jacksonian Democrat February 20, 2013 at 09:19 PM
So they made a choice to agree to no raise to prevent cuts. Those cuts would have resulted in reduced programs and higher class sizes. They would have devastated the careers of younger members. Senior teachers could have voted no and said "I'm safe, to heck with the rest." They did the opposite. That shows responsibility and commitment to the community. As to overtime, you pay overtime consistently for 1 of 3 reasons: you are understaffed and work needs to get done, you are correctly staffed but unanticipated events go one requiring additional work, or 3 staff is not effectively deployed. I'll bet it's a little of all 3.
Jacksonian Democrat February 20, 2013 at 09:22 PM
I completely disagree with that claim. This District has some extraordinary programs that put us at the cutting edge compared to other Districts. In fact citing random awards and meaningless benchmarks that prove nothing other than a raw score on a test is precisely why costs are sky rocketing and why there could be a claim that broader education is declining. My second grader is doing work that I didn't do until 7th grade.

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