Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Smithtown, Long Island Teachers Association Facts - No wonder Property taxes are rising


Some glaring facts I found published by Long Island Citizens Advocating Reform in Education (LICARE) regarding Smithtown Teachers Association.

Smithtown teachers salaries are doubling in 10 years. Why ? Do you think your salary going to double in the next 10 year?

DO YOU KNOW what “working without a contract means”?

The facts are that The Smithtown Teachers Association (STA) is working under a contract that expired on June 30, 2010. Under the Triborough Amendment School Districts are required to continue operating under that expired contract, until a new contract has been negotiated.

Workday & Salary

*Did you know… a starting teacher’s annual salary, with a Bachelor’s degree and no experience is $ 51,232, and $55,590 with no experience and a Master’s degree? Salary for a teacher with 10 years experience and a Master’s degree with 30 professional credits is $88,237. 18 year veteran’s with 60 professional development credits and a Master’s degree receive $117,851. (Source: STA B6 schedule, STA contract)

*Did you know…Smithtown teachers work 184 workdays (not including 10 sick days and personal days which can be accumulated year over year). By comparison, a typical 40 hour per week job has 252 workdays and 10-15 personal/vacation time. (Source: Article XI, STA contract, Dept of Labor)

*Did you know… A Smithtown teacher’ day shall not exceed 7 hours (elementary is 6hrs. 40 mins.). Multiply 7 hours by 184 work days, and you get 1,288 hours contractually required by our teachers. Secondary teachers have a work load of 5 periods out of a 9 period day; a 6th period may be added with additional compensation. All teachers receive a lunch period and at least 1 preparation period a day. (Source: Article VI, STA contract)

*Did you know… Teachers have the potential to earn THREE different types of salary increases each year of their contract? An annual cost of living increase, a “step” increase, and a “column transfer” increase for continuing education and professional development credits. In any given year of the contract this represents about a 7-8% raise each and every year, which is compounded. In addition some teachers are eligible for longevity bonuses of $5,100., depending on length of service within the district. (Source: Article XX, STA contract and BoE meeting 2/7/2011)

*Did you know…without a current contract teacher’s are still receiving the “step” increase? Over 90% of STA members are receiving on average a 3.93% increase this school year? When a new contract is signed all compensation is retroactive to July 1, 201o. (Source: BoE Housing Committee meeting 2/3/2011)Extra Teacher Income

*Did you know… all extra curricular positions get added onto teacher pensions? Many of our STA members are compensated $5,000-25,000 additionally per school year for sports, clubs, bands, chaperones, etc. Lead teachers/Instructional Specialists receives an extra $5,329. There are many other duties/titles that can earn extra compensation. Even cafeteria duty is additional pay for teachers. The extra compensation that is added to their salaries is a huge factor in why our TRS is going up dramatically. (Source: www.NYSTRS.org, and Article XX, STA contract)

*Did you know…Smithtown spent $3,500,000 on 7th-12th grade interscholastic sports, 201 teams for 2,599 students in the 2009-2010 school year. During the 2009-2010 school year Smithtown had 127 coaching positions costing over $1,200,000. (Source: SCSD financial documents)Retirement &Health Benefits*Did you know…Due to State laws, teachers hired before 2010 only make a contribution of 3% of their salary for 10 years toward their pension fund? For a teacher hired in 2009 at a starting salary $51,232, their TOTAL lifetime contribution toward their own pension will be approximately $21,000. When they retire, as early as 55, they will receive monthly benefits, based on their last three years of salary, for the rest of their life. (Source: www.NYSTRS.org, contribution estimate based on schedule B6, STA contract)

*Did you know… $5.3 million of our current budget goes to teacher and administrator pensions? This year the district will be paying about 22 million just for employee healthcare and pensions contributions, and during the 2009/2010 school year we paid out $5.2 million to 1066 retirees healthcare expenses.(Source: BA meeting 12/9/2010 & 1/19/2011)

*Did you know… Employees contribute 14.5% towards their healthcare premiums, but the district pays 100% of the dental plan premiums. AND the district is required to provide a “Benefits Trust Fund” to the STA for the purpose of providing benefits to its members. District was required to budget $363,400 for the 2010/2011 school year. (Source: Article XIX, Article XX, STA contract)

*Did you know… 78% of this year’s budget goes to compensation?

Source: LICARE
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1 comment:

Smithtown said...

Its really an interesting Article.i like your article.Thanks for sharing Information regarding Smithtown Teachers Association.Thanks Again.......

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Long Island Property taxes most important issue, say LIers

No surprise here ! To stop this ridiculous rise in property taxes we have to educate our fellow LIers and contact your representative that they should demand Speaker Silver respond to the pleas of homeowners across the state and support a property tax cap in New York. It has already passed the senate but is being stalled in the Assembly by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Also this year we are seeing some enormous rise in property taxes in school districts such as
William Floyd 12.47% and Seaford 8.99%. Some school districts such as Middle country is resorting to blackmailing its residents. The deal for districts residents is either approved a 6.68% increase or the district is going to force 21.61% increase in tax levy.


Published by THOMAS MAIER at Newsday

By a wide margin, property taxes are the most important issue facing Long Islanders, according to a Newsday / News 12 Long Island / Siena Research Institute Poll. Property taxes were cited overall by 45 percent of respondents, more than twice the 21 percent who cited "availability of good jobs" as the second most pressing issue for Long Islanders. "Property taxes are really an issue here because it keeps the young people from staying on Long Island and it will prevent the older people from staying, too," Tafuri explained.

Property taxes also are a large part of why the 57 percent of those polled said Long Islanders are headed in the "wrong direction" rather than the "right track" in the poll. A similar margin said New York State was headed in the wrong direction as well.

Property taxes are a particularly raw issue in Nassau County, where 53 percent cited them as the biggest issue, compared to 36 percent in Suffolk. Islandwide, Republicans and people 55 years or older complained about property taxes the most. "The Democrats love to spend money and they have to get it from the taxpayers," said one poll respondent, a retired Republican who lives on Nassau County's South Shore.

School costs - the biggest part of property tax bills - were also on the minds of Long Islanders who cited "the quality of public schools" among their top concerns. "The first thing I would do is eliminate tenure for teachers in public schools to cut costs," said another poll respondent, a 50-year-old Garden City man who is a Republican and who did not want to give his name. Although he was happy that his two children attending local schools got a good education there, he said his family's property tax bill has been overwhelming.

Property taxes hit a chord with all respondents, regardless of age, race, gender, religion, location or party affiliation. In addition to identifying the most important issue, the poll underlined the intensity of Long Islanders' general feelings about property taxes, with 86 percent calling the issue "very important" and 11 percent as "somewhat important." Crime, schools, good jobs and health care also received strong reactions, with traffic congestion and the local environment getting milder reactions.