Written by Wendy Karpel Kreitzman Friday, 04 February 2011 00:00
On behalf of the Great Neck Public Schools, the Board of Education signed a “memorandum of agreement” with SAGES (the school district’s Association of Supervisors and Administrators of the Great Neck Educational Staff, Inc.) that will ensure a freeze in salary schedules for the second year in a row. The Board of Education also authorized a memorandum of agreement with SAGES, making available a retirement incentive.
The announcement was made at the school board’s Jan. 24 meeting, where a meeting with SAGES preceded the public action meeting. Superintendent of Schools Thomas Dolan asked for, and received, board approval for signing the two memorandums of agreement. Dr. Dolan announced the SAGES salary freeze agreement first. He spoke of adjustments made within schedules and he said that any raises would be very “modest.”
Dr. Dolan then stated that the entire process had been “admirable” and that the contract was “fair” and a “good response to these economic times.”
Longtime school board trustee Donald Ashkenase, also a longtime leader on the board’s finance committee, noting this second salary schedule freeze, said that this (the economic environment) is “an impossible situation.” He said that “any raise can only be paid for by reductions.” And Mr. Ashkenase also spoke about the increases in insurance benefits and pensions. He said that the school district must stay under a 2 percent tax cap and that any tax increase “hopefully will be modest.”
As for the SAGES retirement incentive, this, Dr. Dolan said, would be similar to last year’s teachers’ retirement incentive. This incentive states that “eligible unit members of the Teachers Retirement System or Employees Retirement System and must offer an irrevocable written letter of resignation for the purpose of retirement to the district no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 7, 2011 with an effective date on or before Sept. 1, 2011.”
Referring to the teachers, Dr. Dolan also noted that they are working towards National Board Certification. And he said that they would all be looking at how to address the new state mandates.