Could Port Chester's principals and managers make a concession to help cover part of the school district's $2.1 million budget gap?
The school board will convene for a previously-unscheduled meeting with the administrators union this afternoon. The meeting agenda references a "collective bargaining unit agreement" but does not include details.
The Port Chester Schools Administrators and Supervisors Association, or PCSASA, has about 15 members and includes principals, assistant principals and directors. It does not include the school superintendent or assistant superintendents, who negotiate separately.
The meeting follows news from last week, when it was revealed that the teachers union declined to act on a that could seal the budget gap. According to the proposal, if teachers agree to use one healthcare provider — instead of the current choice of three — and limit salary raises to one percent over the next three years, the district could avoid cutting jobs, as well as like kindergarten and the Early Learning Center at John F. Kennedy Magnet School.
It's the latter cut that has particularly irked parents and elementary school teachers. If the Early Learning Center becomes a process, about 300 children would be returned to already-overcrowded classrooms at Port Chester's other elementary schools: Edison, Park Avenue and King Street.
On Friday, 30 teachers were told their positions aren't guaranteed for the following year and will be cut if the district doesn't receive from New York State.
Several people familiar with negotiations say the teachers union won't agree to the concessions, and talks are unlikely to progress without the help of a mediator. After last Thursday's story, several teachers contacted Patch and said union leadership has not put the proposals to its membership.
"The fact that people are learning about this from [media] when they're in a unit is just curious," said a school employee.
One parent, who has two children in the district, agreed.
"The teachers may not agree to it anyway, but it should be offered to them, plain and simple," she said.
The scheduled layoffs aren't official until the school board presents its final budget in April. Several dismissed teachers have taken to Facebook and other social media, their dismay mixed with optimism that their jobs could be saved if Albany delivers more state aid to the Port Chester School District. Others have teamed up with parents for and organized lobbying trips to speak to state representatives.
While the teachers have been working without a contract since their last deal expored in June of 2011, the PCSASA contract isn't up until June of this year. That fact, as well as the timing of today's meeting, could signal a deal that includes concessions from principals and managers.
Check back with Port Chester Patch for updates.
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