State of Education:State of teachers' contracts
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There's a subject that continues to make the rounds in the education world: teacher contracts. For example, the Albany School District and their teachers' union agreed on a five-year contract, which includes a pay freeze for the upcoming school year.
"But the money that we're able to save from this contract allows us to bring back 52 and a half positions who would not be able to be working next year. It also gives this community something. It gives the community a zero tax increase on the levy," said Albany Superintendent of Schools Dr. Raymond Colucciello.
Which is a good thing for the taxpayers, but it also comes with agreements.
"They've promised this throughout the community that if we were able to get concessions and able to have the resources from the contract, they would do this for the community," said Colucciello.
"With a decrease in state aid and an increase in the number of charter schools, teacher layoffs were nearly impossible to avoid here in Albany, as well as many other districts, so teachers concessions were pretty much inevitable as well.
"My members had to make some very difficult decisions for this particular contract, some of them are going to be sacrificing quite a bit and everyone is going to sacrifice a little, and some a little more than others,"said teacher Cathy Corbo.
And this is the case across New York State, for example.
In Syracuse, teachers agreed to a 2.3 percent raise for the upcoming year from an original contracted 4.5 percent
And in Buffalo, the Court of Appeals decided school teachers would not get salary step increases which were lost during a wage freeze back in 2003.
But this also puts districts together in the same boat.
"And I know that the leadership in New York State United Teachers has looked at this as working together. This had to be done together. We're mandated to bargain in good faith, and I would have to say in this particular case in Albany, we did bargain in good faith," said Colucciello.
And this can also create a statewide philosophy, in wake of officials meeting halfway.
"This has been settled, and we'll move on to our job and that is to make things better for our students," said Colucciello.
In good times and bad.