Teachers agree to furlough day to avoid layoffs - Sentinel & En...

There are 20 comments on the Sentinel & Enterprise story from Apr 18, 2010, titled Teachers agree to furlough day to avoid layoffs - Sentinel & En.... In it, Sentinel & Enterprise reports that:

The 270 teachers in the North Middlesex Regional School District have agreed to work one day for no pay next year to avoid layoffs.

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abby

Gardner, MA

#1 Apr 18, 2010
how about 30 or 60 days and a 10% cut in pay?
Many people have been out of work 6 months a year and moire!
Cavedweller

Halifax, MA

#2 Apr 18, 2010
One day? Most school districts around the nation are taking at least 2 weeks of furlough or more! What is one day going to accomplish?
Justathought

Boston, MA

#3 Apr 18, 2010
Cavedweller.....one day is ging to save $110,000. Did you read the article? And last year they gave back half their raise? Here's a novel idea for all the towns and cities in the area----pay for education. You don't see police, fire, DPW funding their own departments. Raise taxes, cut spending, tighten the belt, and pay for services. This is the most ridiculous move on the teacher's behalf, shame on you. It's about time that teachers stopped funding their own jobs and let communities pay for educating children.
I also know that people are going to roast me for this but if the profession is so great----why aren't you a teacher?
Joe Jackson

Leominster, MA

#4 Apr 18, 2010
Not a good move for you teachers. You shouldn't have to fund education.........you're communities should!
Justathought is right on the money! Soon they will be working 18 hour days.
NUTS

Boston, MA

#5 Apr 18, 2010
Help me to understand this. You hire a superintendent to run a school district and elect school committee members oversee this process. They compose a budget that they, in their expertise, feel is necessary to educate children in the district. There is not enough money to do this. They make cuts--and there is still not enough money. In Leominster, the mayor refuses to raise taxes to the amount he could--leaving out approximately 5 million dollars in revenue that is uncollected. In Townsend, the town meeting decides on a budget that underfunds the education? How do theese things continue to go on? Help me understand this.
First Leominster Resident

Leominster, MA

#6 Apr 18, 2010
Maybe other unions will follow their lead!
Former patriot

Boston, MA

#7 Apr 18, 2010
I know times are tough but education is the one thing that cannot suffer. Yes, Justathought you are going to get roasted, but I understand where you are coming from. And also, not only does education suffer but the entire education of a child suffers. The first thing cut, extra-curriculars. No offense to the classroom teacher but the extras are what bring a lot of students to school and what motivate and keep them there. If there are no extras, all the people that complain about kids roaming around, at the mall, causing problems, will see a rise in this. Everyone must come together and see this as our future and yes, sorry, PAY FOR IT. To the elderly on a fixed income--I understand, but someone paid for you and your children and now you must do the same.
option2

Lowell, MA

#8 Apr 18, 2010
cut recent central office hires.
Immediate savings $160,000.
Eliminate banking sick days. Long term savings $250,000
Cavedweller

Halifax, MA

#9 Apr 18, 2010
$110K is nothing out of $41 million. Surrounding school districts are trying to save $500k,$1 -$2.5 million or even more to save jobs. They gave back half of their raises? Other surronding communities and their departments have been receiving 0% raises the last few years. It all started in the bigger communities near Boston and now it is affecting the smaller ones. Welcome to the club. The smaller communities should not be in shock. I hope they didn't think they were immune to the recession. Furlough's are illegal within the labor laws anyways. No one can be forced to work for free and not get paid. Their paycheck will have to show the day's reduction or they will obtain a furlough statement to claim the day's pay loss when they claim it next year during income tax filing time.
Wow

Pepperell, MA

#10 Apr 18, 2010
Joe Jackson wrote:
Not a good move for you teachers. You shouldn't have to fund education.........you're communities should!
Justathought is right on the money! Soon they will be working 18 hour days.
"Soon they will be working 18 hour days." Instead of three (3)hours per day for 180 days per year. Just imagin!
Thanks but-

Gardner, MA

#11 Apr 18, 2010
...the problem is, the teachers are being asked to sacrifice before the leadership. That's not the way it should be. Dr Marshall has increased administration 600% since she has arrived. Administration salaries have soared. Performances have remained level or statistically insignificant.
The fact is that Dr Marshall keeps playing to the public perception of "greedy teachers" buy constantly playing up the "...we're asking out teachers to work with us..." ploy. She's using the teachers to divert attention from her massive (highest in the area - larger than the governor's) salary, and her padded central office.
The union leadership shouldn't give an inch until they see some sacrifice at the top.
really Wow

Pepperell, MA

#12 Apr 18, 2010
NUTS wrote:
Help me to understand this. You hire a superintendent to run a school district and elect school committee members oversee this process. They compose a budget that they, in their expertise, feel is necessary to educate children in the district. There is not enough money to do this. They make cuts--and there is still not enough money. In Leominster, the mayor refuses to raise taxes to the amount he could--leaving out approximately 5 million dollars in revenue that is uncollected. In Townsend, the town meeting decides on a budget that underfunds the education? How do theese things continue to go on? Help me understand this.
And, and, and they doubled the administration and built up the E & D account to two million dollars and drained all of the town reserves! How do they do it?
Cavedweller

Halifax, MA

#13 Apr 18, 2010
School teachers thought that Chapter 70 or otherwise "mandatory and untouchable school funding from the community" will make their jobs secured. Too bad the unions didn't realize that the adminstrators knew that they could use the money at the expense of the teachers. An administrator will never admit to sacrificing other expenses in order to protect their salaries.
Tip of the iceberg

Gardner, MA

#14 Apr 18, 2010
Cavedweller, furloughs would be just the tip of the iceberg as far as questionable actions go in the North Middlesex district from the open meeting law, to the budget process, etc, etc...
Turg

Halifax, MA

#15 Apr 18, 2010
I am sure the local teacher's union in Townsend did their research and homework at the State level union weekend seminars. It would have been better to layoff a couple of teachers whom will have returned due to retirements within a year than to concede to other types of concessions. The layoffs may also be reinstated within a short time by applying for grants. The public safety jobs have been reinstated within a few months of their layoffs but the community must have to lay them off first to show their budget could not be balanced with them on the payroll. I am sure the teacher's have the same type of program to apply for. Here is the public safety link for comparison.

http://www.mass.gov/...

http://www.mass.gov/...
John

Leominster, MA

#16 Apr 18, 2010
Wow wrote:
<quoted text>
"Soon they will be working 18 hour days." Instead of three (3)hours per day for 180 days per year. Just imagin!
Thank you for joining the ignorance parade. "3 hours"...did you use that figure because 3 is as high as you can count?
John

Leominster, MA

#17 Apr 18, 2010
Let's see: They agree to be forced to work a day for free...they agreed to give up all reimbursement for educational courses which are required by law...they allowed the district to change their contract for health-insurance so that they will have to pay more money at the doctors office...they gave up half their raise last year...AND YOU BLOOD SUCKING LEACHES WANT MORE BLOOD! Why does that not surprise me. And you wonder why they have the teachers association. Just image how much you would have decimated our educators if you animals were allowed to do what you wanted to!!!

How do you honestly expect them to remain a positive influence in the classroom when they see all the parents trying to get them fired so they loose their homes and can't feed their families.

If I was in education...I would see to it that you guys got exactly what you DESERVE!
fed up

Clinton, MA

#18 Apr 18, 2010
Just wondering. Why do teachers get automatic raises in every year in their contracts, when in the private sector, you must earn those raises. If you do not perform better or increase productivity you do not receive a raise just becuase you have been at the job for so many years. Raises should be merit bases and based on assessments. I feel bad for the teacher who puts in the extra hours, stays after more than the one required day per contract, to help the struggling kids, who buys crayons and pencils out of their own pockets and they get the same raise as the teacher next to them who does nothing at all. Comes in and only does the minimum required by their contraact. Not all teachers are created equal and they should not get equal reaises across the board.
Help Wanted

Halifax, MA

#19 Apr 18, 2010
Let's see: They agree to be forced to work a day for free...they agreed to give up all reimbursement for educational courses which are required by law...they allowed the district to change their contract for health-insurance so that they will have to pay more money at the doctors office...they gave up half their raise last year...AND YOU BLOOD SUCKING LEACHES WANT MORE BLOOD! Why does that not surprise me. And you wonder why they have the teachers association. Just image how much you would have decimated our educators if you animals were allowed to do what you wanted to!!!
Everyone here is trying to help the teachers. Obviously they didn't concede last year so what changed this year that made them concede. Their local union must have a member that has been to grant writing seminars and is their grant writer. All local unions in all departments usually have a grant writer that works with the adminstration to retain positions. All local unions are preparing for 2011 and 2012 and I hope this union has already done so. Don't get blitzed again when they come looking for 2 week furloughs next year. Raises are a surprise though because that is unheard of until the recession is over and all local unions around the area are aware of this.
Been there

Concord, MA

#20 Apr 18, 2010
really Wow wrote:
<quoted text> And, and, and they doubled the administration and built up the E & D account to two million dollars and drained all of the town reserves! How do they do it?
They do it only because they can. I've been there, literally. Standing up to the NMRSD administration is a daunting task, which MUST be done. A wise man once told me that they are not really any worse than other school administrations, just more flamboyant. Whether the wise man was precisely accurate is moot; what is clear is that standing one's ground against the administration and school committee is personally and financially costly, but possible and necessary. There are hard questions that must be asked, and answered. Without transparency there will never be faith in the system.

I do not know the current legal limit on the E&D account, but there is a limit. Someone there should check it out. A major hurdle to school budgets, specifically regional school districts is that the whole budget is approved, with no line item veto. Most folks do not know this when they choose to regionalzie their schools. Regionalization is the only sane way that small towns can finance education, but the individual towns need to ensure some control over their financial destiny when they decide to do this.

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