Today, Dick Bergeron's blog spilled the beans on the B-REA/BOE forthcoming contract. It looks like two contracts: a 2.9% raise for teachers for each of the next three years but 0% raise for 2011-12. Another way to interpret it is 2.1% yearly over 4 years... which is very close to cap.
How do I evaluate this? Is it a 9% (almost) raise over 3 years or over 4 years (which would lower the annual raise if divided by 4 years)? I would have bet money on a 2.5% increase.... so I'm also a bit surprised.
I don't know the exact details: Does it mean any more in "deliverable"? Will this equate to even LARGER student : teacher ratios if it comes time to cover a potential gap? The BOE does rely on "breakage" (the cost difference salaries of seasoned teachers who retire and the new teachers who replace them) to cover budgets that spend beyond regular taxes. What if there aren't enough retiring to cover almost a 1% increase beyond the cap? This is one of those times that I'm irritated that no one at the BOE had a kid at Eisenhower last year to appreciate how many grades continue to feel the ramifications of cutting 65 teachers only a few years ago. What's cutting a few more teachers to make budget?????!
How do teachers feel? Are they feeling cheated since they had a much cushier deal before or thrilled to have almost 3% per year "in these times" (both economics and the new tax cap)? I'm hoping that this will ease relations between teachers and the community - and that teachers will stop politicizing classrooms. On the other hand - maybe they see how well hardball worked out for them and in two-three years we will be back to negotiations square one.
I am very curious where Dick got his information (and if the source is reliable). Are the numbers "legit" or "bogus" and if the truth is that we'll be shelling out nearly an entire percent above cap, what do we do if "breakage" isn't enough to cover the gap? What programs will I be fighting to save? What committees will I be serving on to find band-aids for future fiscal bleeds? Dick's blog has left me with more questions than answers.
Will the BOE give a formal response? And what will they say?
Luckily it is a Sunday night. There's a new episode of Call the Midwife tonight!!! (You can view earlier episodes on PBS.org) If you like it, thank my brother. He said he got this series to air in the US!!!!