The Bay Shore School District and the Bay Shore Classroom Teachers Association are resuming negotiations after recent statements outline how the discussions concluded, according to Facebook posts …
The Bay Shore School District and the Bay Shore Classroom Teachers Association are resuming negotiations after recent statements outline how the discussions concluded, according to Facebook posts by each of the entities. The negotiations come as Bay Shore and districts across New York prepare for the possibility of steep mid-year budget cuts due to financial trouble caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A joint statement was released Monday from superintendent Joseph Bond and BSCTA president Michael Krieger: “The Bay Shore School District and the Bay Shore Classroom Teachers’ Associa- tion met today to discuss contract negotiations. Both parties agreed to continue the process and are confident a resolution that will benefit all parties will be reached in the near future.”
The district announced on July 2 the excess of members of the teaching staff. The furloughs would result in about 80 teachers leaving, including the 21 slated for retirement. “Faced with potential state aid cuts of 20 percent or more, the board of education must fulfill its fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of Bay Shore and Brightwaters, and prepare for the worst-case scenario,” the announcement said.
The BSCTA released a letter dated July 2 on Facebook that explained how they rejected a proposal for a new contract. Details on why were not given. Their letter said that their offer addressed the district’s financial situation, and propos- als went back and forth, until a “last and final” offer was given, which the union rejected. The letter said that after the rejection, the district notified a large number of teachers that they “would not have secured employment” for the next year.
“This prospect is unacceptable, as our students need their teachers, social workers, and other support staff now more than ever,” the BSCTA letter read.
The district made its own statement on July 5, laying out what they had agreed to in their proposals, including to not excess any teachers, and salaries would remain in full if state aid cuts were below 5 percent. The district asked that salary increases be deferred proportional to any state aid cuts.
The district said that since the “Governing Board rejected the proposal, negotiations were concluded and the district was forced to fulfil their fiduciary responsibility and send the letters excessing positions to protect the taxpayers.”
According to their post, there is a contractual obligation of when to send excess letters. They added that all bargaining units in the district are being asked for concessions, with an agreement that the administration also make monetary concessions.
In its Facebook post, the district said that nonmandated positions like art and music were chosen for removal first. They also outlined the possibility of staff returning after the mid-year point.
“In the event that education continues to be virtual, or even partially virtual, it is entirely possible that we could forgo certain positions to alleviate the impact of the proposed mid-year state aid cuts while keeping an eye on the promise of those services being restored when students return to our buildings full-time and are permitted to gather together to rehearse [absent the need for social distancing protocols],” the post read. “In this instance, monies conserved in the First Semester could significantly help alleviate the strain on finances in the Second Semester and allow us to get our entire staff back to work as quickly as possible based upon our needs.”
The negotiating parties are unable to comment further on deliberations as they are underway.