A on its ongoing contract dispute with the school district sparked a heated response today from schools Superintendent Edward A. Kliszus.
"We deny the allegations made by PCTA president Linda O'Connor but cannot reveal details of the board’s recent contract proposals to the teachers association," Kliszus said. "Our position is to honor the agreement signed in the fall by the PCTA and board to hold all negotiations' matters confidential. We are disappointed that the PCTA has chosen to use the board’s recent offerings made in good faith as the means to dishonor the confidentiality agreement. We remind everyone that the , thereby blocking negotiations until a mediator could be engaged."
In a urging votes to support the proposed 2012-2013 Port School school budget, O'Connor said, "We offered the District to move to one insurance (SWSCHP) and to give back salary monies, both totaling $2.2 million over the next two years, in order to save the reading program so important to our children. Sadly, this was rejected by the District."
The fate of the district's is to be decided by voters on Tuesday.
Kliszus said many in the community have voiced their hope at public board meetings and in the media that the PCTA would take a similar stand to that of the and civil service employees.
In March, Port Chester's principals and managers agreed to limit salaries and healthcare options when they renegotiated their contract to help the district in its efforts to cope with a $2.1 million budget deficit.
"In light of these sentiments, the board recently presented a series of proposals to the PCTA in an attempt to move negotiations forward," Kliszus said. "The board is acutely concerned with recovering the loss of the 13.5 reading teachers and has continued to present proposals in good faith to the PCTA just as it has to the civil service workers and district administrators."
In addition to the loss of the reading support teachers, Port Chester was facing the prospect of ending full-day kindergarten. However, the proposal going before voters on Tuesday maintains the full-day program.
Kliszus said the first mediation session with the teachers union is coming up at the end of the month.
"We are scheduled for our first mediation session on May 31 and continue to be hopeful that the opportunity for problem solving at the negotiations table will be explored in recognition of the profound adverse financial issues presented by the tax levy cap and insufficient state aid funding," Kliszus said.