>Finally Some News About Middletown’s Proposed School Budget

>In today’s issue of the Independent which was posted online Tuesday night, comes word about the proposed Middletown School budget.

According to the article, a special school board meeting was held on March 2nd to introduce the school budget. This year’s budget would increase over last year budget by 2%, which would equate to a $2,445,064 increase in the tax levy and would support a budget that would be $145,211,537 or roughly $6.5 million more than last year.
There are a few things that were mentioned in the article that strike me in a good way and one thing that potentially troubles me.
Much of this year’s budget increase would go towards restoring some of the things that were lost after last years budget defeat. Things like capital improvements to High School North, funding for technology and the hiring back of 5.5 teachers (I wonder what happen to the other half).
What I found trouble about what was contained in the article was that it mentioned that contract talks between the MTEA and the Middletown Board of Education has reached an impasse, and now both sides are waiting to hear from the Public Employment Relations Commission to determine if negotiations should resume.
It turns out that this proposed budget was put together with the idea that the MTEA would accept a wage freeze for the 20011/2012 school year and contribute more towards their health benefits, which would help to offset a $4 million increase in health care costs.
I would hope that after the beating the MTEA took last year in the public opinion of residents, they would be slightly more lenient in their contract negotiations this year with the school system for the public good and in an effort to somewhat reform their image.
Without being involved in those negotiations however, it is hard to determine if good faith negotiations and measures have taken place between the two side. So I won’t pass judgement on either side just yet.
I am sure though, that as this impasse progresses and the time comes closer to having the School budget voted on in April, we’ll hear an awful lot more about this.
You can read the article >>> Here

5 Comments

Filed under budget introduction, contract impasse, Middletown Board of Education, MTEA, school budgets, Teachers

5 responses to “>Finally Some News About Middletown’s Proposed School Budget

  1. >I defended the MTEA last year, because a contract is a contract and I didn't like the way Scharfenberger exploited and politicized the issue.However, if the MTEA doesn't show some concessions with their new contract, I will not support them. People will turn on them in a heart beat.I would hope the teachers in this town let their leadership know that this is the time to show that you are willing to work with us not against us. This is not the time for unrealistic demands.

  2. >Anon,I agree with you as long as both sides are negotiating in good faith.

  3. >If the board wants 3 years of wage freezes while teachers have to pay 3 years increasingly towards their benefits and lose gains hard won in previous years, I don't know if that would be considered "good faith". I am assuming here that the public just wants the teachers to take whatever is offered in terms of a contract and be quiet….If the community does not "support" the MTEA that would be unfortunate, but in light of the recent attacks on workers and unions; the MTEA would be remiss to roll over just to avoid ruffling the community feathers. Once certain rights are lost they will be impossible to regain. I think some history is needed; it was unions that fought for and won the 5 day work week for everyone; safe work environments for everyone; mandatory breaks and family leave for everyone. They are coming for unions today…..

  4. >Anon 7:43I agree with you whole heartedly, that is why I stated as long as both sides are negotiating in good faith.I am not prevy to details of the negotiation between the BOE and the MTEA so to cast judgement at this time would be premature and reckless.I believe that some give and take needs to happen between both sides, after all it is said that the secret to a good contract deal is when both sides walk way not satisfied.I think it is pretty evident by many of the post that I present on this blog that I support unions and the process of collective bargaining and I thank unions and their members every day for the many thing that I take for granted in the workplace. I think others should also.

  5. >Collective bargaining is necessary to a reasonable work place for everyone.Always remember that management also benefits from what is bargained for and won in good faith.To try and destroy unions will set labor back in this country by a hundred years and serves no one.Unions members are from all political affiliations and that must be remembered. It's not a partisan fight and should not be portrayed as such as all the hyperbole and rhetoric attempts to do.Unions are businesses also and operate as such in representing their membership thus they strive to get all they can in their negotiations.Good faith is needed on both parties part to any negotiations. It is unfortunate that these economic times are seriously impacting on the taxpayers ability to pay the ever increasing property taxes.The time has come for government to reform the way schools are funded.The property tax as the major source of school funding must be replaced by a fairer and broader based tax,e.g. the income tax.THE TIME HAS COME ! IT"S LONG PAST TIME BUT NO ONE HAS HAD THE COURAGE TO DATE .

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