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SCTA Votes to Open Contract

Will save school district as much as $3.5 million.

The Sachem Central Teachers Association (SCTA) voted in favor of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) that was set forth to adjust the current contract.

Teachers voted, 672-346, passing the motion by 66 percent. By opening the contract the teacher's union will not receive the originally scheduled 2.5 percent salary increase for the 2012-13 school year. It will save the Sachem Central School District $3.5 million, according to SCTA President John Heslin.

"We agreed to take a pay cut and defer the money into the future," Heslin said. "It’s us giving back to the kids to keep the programs, to keep the co-curricular and to keep Sachem the way it is."

The precentage increases will be implemented in steps throughout the next contract. They are as follows: 2012-13 = 1 percent step mid-year; 2013-14 = 1.5 percent step mid-year; and 2014-15 = 1.25 percent full step.

With this year's budget situation murky at best, and Sachem facing a shortfall of up to $16 million, the SCTA will help alleviate the financial problems facing the district.

According to Heslin, he signed the MOA deal with Sachem Superintendent James Nolan on March 6. Voting was held over a two-day span on Monday and Tuesday of this week. At Wednesday's Sachem Board of Education meeting, school trustees will vote to make it official in the district.

Sagamore, Sequoya, Chippewa and Tamarac were the only buildings to vote down the MOA. Waverly, according to the SCTA website, was invalidated. According to Heslin, invalid votes means the votes were not included in final tally as per Landrum-Griffith Act.

"We have to hope that the community will see what we sacrificed and that they’ll pass this budget by the required 60 percent," said Heslin, referring to the percentage needed to install Sachem's proposed budget and not deal with the allotted two-percent tax cap measure. "If it fails we have to find $16 million to cut. You won’t recognize the place."

To see a total building tally on the votes, check out the PDF in the gallery above.

Christopher March 22, 2012 at 01:13 AM
If the teachers union was really serious why not take a complete salary freeze like the surrounding school districts. Also why is everyone pushing this 60 percent majority so they can bypass the tax cap. isnt it time the school districts lived within their means.
Joe March 22, 2012 at 09:16 PM
I think it's a pretty big deal for people to voluntarily NOT make as much as they are contractually allowed to. I'm pretty sure that the teachers union is deadly serious. But, it will never be enough for you teacher-haters.
Melanie March 23, 2012 at 12:31 AM
The Sachem teachers show their support for the community in many ways.
Cathy March 23, 2012 at 12:44 PM
I am very impressed! Go Sachem!
Cathy March 23, 2012 at 12:45 PM
I am very impressed! Go Sachem!

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