Press-Republican

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April 22, 2009

Crown Point teachers accept wage freeze

CROWN POINT — To avoid layoffs, the Crown Point Central School Teachers Union has agreed to a wage freeze.



Superintendent Shari Brannock proposed the pay freeze, under which each teacher and assistant agreed to work during the 2009-10 school year at the same salary as the current school year.



"This generous concession is being applauded by all members of the Crown Point School community," Brannock said.



NO STEP INCREASES

She said the pay freeze includes the teachers not getting any step increases — the regular raises standard in a contract — so "what you were paid (this) year, you'll be paid next year."



A budget shortfall would have required layoffs without the freeze, Brannock said, "which would result in reduced educational programs."



The teachers made a difficult sacrifice in order to help kids, she said, and the savings will be more than $100,000.



"This true pay freeze is thought to be the first in the state by a New York State United Teachers-represented bargaining unit, and the teachers should be credited with showing tremendous character to help protect student programs, control the budget, save jobs and preserve the future of our school."



The agreement will let the district produce "a significantly lower budget than was otherwise anticipated," Brannock said.



OTHER PAY FROZEN

She said the school uses the theme of working as a TEAM, an acronym that stands for Together Everyone Achieves More.



Brannock said seven other employees in the district previously agreed to a pay freeze for 2009-10: the superintendent, administrative assistant, treasurer, deputy treasurer, Committee on Special Education chairperson, school psychologist and district clerk.



Crown Point has 32 teachers, seven teaching assistants and 281 students.



Twenty-nine other staff members didn't agree to the pay freeze, and most will receive a 4.5-percent contractual raise next school year.



The district's non-instructional staff contract runs until 2011.

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