As you may already know, the Glen Cove City School District teachers are in their second year working under an expired contract. We started the negotiations process in the spring of 2006 and are currently in fact finding. There is no end in sight. We continue to work under a central administration and board of education who do not value its teachers enough to offer a fair settlement. The school district came to the table with proposals that amounted to 55 changes to our current contract, many of which were drastic, reducing benefits or compensation.
The Glen Cove Teachers' Association has been open and forthright with our community. We have openly addressed our concerns in the local papers and at board of education meetings. We have posted both the association's and the district's proposals on our website (www.nysut.org/locals). We have been vocal at board meetings, picketing, writing letters, etc., to no avail.
The Glen Cove Teachers' Association has time and time again reminded the board of education and the community that we are only asking for a moderate increase in order to offset rising costs and to prevent our teachers from being the lowest paid teachers in Nassau. We are willing to make fair concessions in exchange. The board of education continues to be unreasonable in its demands at the table, wanting so much in exchange that any increase would not be realized in the end.
The quality of the Glen Cove School District affects every member of this community. It directly affects our children's education, the value of our homes and can attract or repel prospective homebuyers. It determines who lives in Glen Cove, who our neighbors are and will be in the future. As residents of this community each person has a vested interest in the quality of our school district. Two years without a contract does not speak to a quality school district. It does not speak to happy employees. It does not retain quality teachers.
The Glen Cove Teachers Association is asking for your help and encouraging you to become vocal in demanding that the board of education bargain fairly with the teachers who serve this community. Please take action. A list of Glen Cove Board of Education members and administrators can be found on the district website: www.glencove.k12.ny.us. Follow the link on the left hand side.
Please contact them. Please come to school district board of education meetings. They can be found on the district website and are announced in the Record Pilot. Please attend and demand that fair bargaining take place for our schools and our community.
On behalf of our teachers, I thank you in advance for any help you can offer.
GCTA President and Glen Cove Resident
Mayor Ralph Suozzi has been into his new term for fewer than 30 days, and already there are very troubling signs on Glen Cove’s horizon. Simply stated, here are just a few. They are based on Newsday reports (both printed and online),statements actually made at City Council meetings and reports in the Glen Cove Record Pilot.
The mayor has hired a person, reputed to be his wife’s best friend, to be deputy mayor at a salary of $69,000. This woman lives on the South Shore. It looks bad.
The mayor has hired another person, whom he calls his own best friend, to be a so-called “consultant” to Glen Cove for a bunch of not very well defined activities. He’s going to get paid $4,500 per month, or $54,000 per year. This person is reputed to be a former New York City policeman who is either retired or out on disability. On Dec. 21, 2007, this individual, or someone acting on his behalf, created a new corporation and the city attorney has made the claim that this new corporation will actually be the city’s consultant, not the individual. Whether this corporate sleight of hand is a vehicle for improperly getting around a state law that prevents the retired cop from taking a job with another municipality and collecting a pension is something that will eventually come out. No matter what, the whole thing looks bad.
Newsday has also reported that Glen Cove’s debt is so large that every man, woman and child in the city owes more than $2,000. And the debt continues to grow. Eventually, no one will want to buy a home in Glen Cove if this is the debt they’re buying into. It is bad.
And what about the fiasco that is coming to be known as Sewergate? Are you aware that our mayor is giving the county our $52 million sewage treatment plant, and we don’t stand to get a nickel for it?
These things may just be the tip of the iceberg, and the mayor hasn’t completed the first month of his new term.
If any of this bothers you and you think you may be ready to get involved in some way, please contact me at OurGlenCove@optonline.net. I’m not going to ask you for money, but I may ask you to come down to city hall and just see for yourself what goes on there. If you have the same reaction I’ve had, it won’t be necessary to ask you to be involved. I promise – you’ll figure that out all on your own.
Please join me in making this city a better place before we’re past the financial point of no return. It will be upon us sooner than you think.