Little Falls Association of
Parents and Taxpayers
As concerned parents and taxpayers, we are aware of the current situation regarding your contract. We do find the situation disturbing but we do not support your current demand for outrageous increases. Although the exact amount of the negotiation is unknown, it has been touted to be approximately sixteen six percent over the next three years. In the current economic climate, increases of less than two or three percent per year are considered the norm. Demands of greater than five percent are outrageous. With a median salary of $51,000 for the period September to June, it is hypocrisy to say that teachers are at the bottom the pay scale. You are in reality in the middle of Passaic County’s teacher salary scale with only a median service of eight years. Your median salary has risen from $42,763 to $51,081 since 2001. (Source:http://education.state.nj.us/rc/rc03/dataselect.php?c=31&d=2700&s=050&datasection=all).
As parents, we have been highly offended by your tee shirts, which claim, "We care about your kids." It is unconscionable that you would equate caring for our children with negotiating your contract. Is there an exact amount that can be associated with your care?
As for your threats to discontinue extra curricular activities, many of these activities are nice to have but are not really necessary. It would be more economical for the Board of Education to outsource these activities to volunteers and hired temps. With many jobs being outsourced overseas, teachers need to realize that parents and all taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet. Private sector jobs are not protected by tenure.
The claim that the Board of Education is asking teachers to pay enormous amounts for health benefits is also misleading and deceptive. Teachers currently have the option to participate in three different health plans. The board is still offering one of these plans for free and asking that teachers partially contribute towards the other two. The change in contribution will impact less than half of the teachers. The remaining teachers will get their full increases without contributing to their benefits. With the high cost of healthcare, it is rare today, to find an employer that does not ask their employees to contribute towards their healthcare costs. Should teachers be any different than the rest of us who pay their salaries?
We believe that the teachers deserve a fair and equitable contract but we cannot afford your current demands.Sincerely,
October 17, 2004