(April 19, 2012) On Tuesday, April 17, the
Ravena-Coyemans-Selkirk Superintendent of Schools and Board of Education
and the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Teachers’ Association reached an
agreement which extends the current Association contract by two years,
through June 30, 2015. The district will save approximately $300,000
over the course of the contract.
The district reopened negotiations with the teacher’s union in consideration of the current budget challenges faced by RCS. “We appreciate the union’s willingness to work with the district in seeking creative solutions as we develop a difficult budget,” says Superintendent of Schools Elisabeth Smith. “Providing a quality education program for our students remains the top priority for RCS, and this agreement will help us achieve that mission while still preserving jobs and making education as affordable as possible for our community.”
The agreement establishes a half-year pay freeze for Association members for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years. For the two extended years of the contract, association members will receive no salary increase above their step increase. In 2012-13 and in 2013-14, there will be no step movement for members on step and no increases for members off step until the second half of the year. This results in a half year salary freeze, which brings a savings to District tax payers. Any members who don’t receive step increases will receive a 2.5-percent increase. Per the agreement, savings from this concession can only be used to lower the 2012-13 tax levy increase or restore teaching positions; monies cannot be put into fund balance or reserves.
In return for this concession, the district will cut no Association positions
from the 2012-13 school year budget, with the exception of a grade 5
teaching position at Pieter B. Coeymans Elementary School, which will be
lost through attrition.
In an effort to reduce the revenue responsibility for taxpayers, the district elected to use the saving generated by the agreement, a total of $130,000 for the 2012-13 school year, to offset some of the anticipated tax levy increase.
The proposed $41,729,185 budget adopted by the
district on Tuesday reduces spending by $708,681, or 1.7 percent, from
the current school year, and would increase the tax levy by 6.8 percent,
a 0.5 percent decrease from the Board’s earlier projected tax levy
Voters will decide on the proposal at the polls on May 15. Because the tax levy increase is within the district’s maximum allowable tax levy of 8.6 percent, the support of a simple majority (50 percent + 1) is required for the budget to pass on May 15.
If the budget passes on May 15th, the agreement
with the association will be adopted as part of the teachers collectively
negotiated agreement. If the budget is defeated on May 15, the teachers
agreement will become null and void in all regards.
If the budget passes on May 15th, the agreement with the association will be adopted as part of the teachers collectively negotiated agreement. If the budget is defeated on May 15, the teachers agreement will become null and void in all regards.