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Additional facts should be known

August 7, 2012
The Leader Herald

As a longtime district employee and former president of the Gloversville Teachers' Association, I would like to add some additional facts, not opinions, about the July 29 story regarding the school union halting its grievance.

The contract that went into effect on July 1, 1989, stated, "Each teacher hired by the Board after September 1, 1989, shall be given salary credit for all prior teaching experience of a semester or more." That language was still in effect, and never changed, until the end of June 2012. Four superintendents - Dr. Lomanto, Mr. Fiacco, Mr. Connor and Mr. DeLilli - along with several interim superintendents, dealt with that contract language.

During the 23 years the language has been part of the contract, more than 200 teachers were hired. All of those teachers who had teaching experience of a semester or more were given one-for-one credit for their years of teaching. Teachers with no teaching experience were placed on Step 1.

During those years, a few teachers were initially hired at a step that did not accurately give them one-for-one credit. Once the superintendent's office was notified of these errors, the corrected salaries were placed as items on the Board of Education agenda, voted upon and corrected.

Prior to this recent hiring, inaccurate salaries were always corrected and approved by the BOE. In years when finances became tighter, principals were guided to not interview teaching candidates who had more than three (or so) years of experience because it would be too costly to hire them. In fact, there are teachers who applied for jobs in our district who had many years of experience and were willing to work for less than the year-for-a-year step in order to get a job. They were told, by administration, they could not make that deal.

This year, new teaching staff members were hired and were given year-for-a-year credit or appropriately were placed on Step 1. Mrs. Michel was the only teacher who had previous experience but was not given year-for-a-year credit.

A union has an obligation to represent and protect all members and all contract language. Thus, a grievance was filed after the BOE chose to not correct the salary, as had been done in the past.

Specific details of why the grievance was withdrawn should remain confidential.

However, these are some facts that should be known that were not in the article.





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