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Saline Teachers to Vote on Giving $7.5 Million in Concessions

Saline teachers learned the details on a new contract that could give back $7.5 million over the next two years.

Saline Area Schools teachers are learning about details of a new contract  at Saline Middle School Wednesday afternoon.

The detail, which will need to be ratified by a vote, gives the school district $7.5 million in concssions over the next two years, according to Juan Lauchu, president of the Saline Education Association. The existing deal between the Saline Education Association and the school district expires June 30. The new deal is a two-year contract.

"By our calculations, we're giving back $7.5 million over the next two years. Are you giving back to the schools? Absolutely. Don't let anyone tell you that you aren't," Lauchu said to teachers in the audience at the union meeting. "You are the ones making the sacrifices."

Teachers are voting online by 4 p.m Wednesday. If passed, school board could ratify a contract at a special meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Board members and district officials have maintained a policy of silence on collective bargaining.

Tuesday night, the that would layoff 16-17 teachers. School officials said that details of the budgetc ould change based on collective bargaining. The board is scheduled to meet again during a special meeting at 5 p.m., where they could vote on the new contract.

Lauchu told teachers that he wouldn't have brought the contract to membership if it wasn't a good deal for students and teachers.

"If we don't pass this, the district may lay off 17 teachers," Lauchu said.

Among the other other concessions:

• Salaries will be rolled back to 2008-09 levels.

• Some stipends from the 2008-09 schedule will be reduced 10 percent for one year.

• Steps will be frozen in 2012-13.

• There is a one-year freeze on pay increases earned when a teacher earns a master's degree.

• A new 17-step salary schedule will be implemented, replacing the exisiting 10-step program.

• Extra class overages will be reduced by 25 percent. 

• In 2013-14, teachers will will receive the 2008-09 salary schedule, plus 1.25 percent.

• Coaches salaries will drop to 2008-09 levels, minus 10 percent.

• The SEA and distrit would reconvene in August to review changes made to pensions. If the district shoulders the cost, the SEA could give more concessions. If the SEA shoulders it all, the SEA would ask the district to give more.

• The district and SEA would agree to bargain an alternative school day schedule in 2013-14. The schedue could add 300 minutes more than the current contract allows.

• New pay schedules will take effect after Aug. 31.

• Saline teachers will participate in a MESSA-based health consortium.

Saline Patch will have more throughout the day.

John Carter June 29, 2012 at 02:11 AM
@MSU .... could you explain this statement ..."Teachers over the past 3 years have not taken a raise have gave back MILLIONS of dollars and have now they have taken a 15% pay cut." I hope you meant all teachers in general...because if you meant Saline teachers....this statement is simply not true except for the 15% cut for the new contract.
A Citizen Who Cares June 29, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Teachers and the staff in Saline schools are terrific. The majority spend an incredible amount of their time and money investing in your children. Next year when some have had to take on exra jobs to make up for this huge income drop, don't complain if the rooms are not ready. The bulletin boards are not done. The teachers are not as available for scheduling a conference because you couldn't make the planned conference times. The teacher moral was at a low point before all this. I never want to hear the words " the best interst of the child" from a school board member again. Clearly you really don't care for your best asset.
Sal Randazzo June 29, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Teachers and staff in Saline are terrific. Citizens, Parents and tax payers in Saline are also terrific. These are some of the most generous, involved people in the country. Good teachers/people will understand that times have changed, the economy has changed, the student population has changed and so now is the time to accept the fact that teaching and staff jobs will have to be paid less. Because there is less money and less wealth in the community to pay for education. That is just the reality. When I was a kid, teachers did have two jobs. In fact many teacher painted houses during the summer months. Nothing wrong with going back to that. We must all make sacrifices in society. The compensation and the rate of increase was just no longer sustainable.
john Waterman June 29, 2012 at 12:09 PM
I agree everyone must sacrifice, but how is teachers taking a cut in pay so you pay less in taxes everyone sacrificing? The teacher showed their how they are going to take a personal loss to keep saline school strong. What sacrifice will businesses and citizens in saline make to do the same? Thank you teachers for doing your part. Now it is time for us to stand up and fight for school funding. I know a few people feel their entitled to a tax cut while the schools are in trouble, but that is not a shared sacrifice.
D Friese June 29, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Hey John W, hope all is well!
MSU June 29, 2012 at 02:32 PM
HornetMom, thank you for your concern but I am not angry at all. I just hate it when people jump on a band wagon and type garbage with no proof to back it up. I get it you hate UNIONS, so anybody affiliated with a UNION you must hate equally. Wow sounds like a hateful world you live in. It is real easy to sit at a computer to bash people but if you have these concerns I hope you show up at a board meeting and tell the teachers to there face how MAD you are that there UNIONS and how it is destroying the school system. I hope your businesses are doing well and keep growing in Saline. But please stop posting on something you have no idea what your talking about. Good Day :)
Sal Randazzo June 29, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Do you want me to post the w2s for all the Teachers in the Saline Schools? Making $80,000 + per year for working 180 days is a very good pay. Half of that would be good and people would kill for that kind of job in today's economy. In the real world, most people have not gotten raises for years. Many of us are already facing the sacrifice of lost retirement, lost investment, lost dreams. Most people can't afford a retirement let alone get the type of benefits that the teachers get in retirement. We have already made the sacrifices, now the teachers are just playing catch-up. Government jobs where never meant to be high paying. These are public servants. There has been a huge shift in wages from the private sector to the public sector. The area around Washington D.C has the highest income per capita of any area in the country. These are mostly government workers that make extremely high incomes now. Government is not supposed to take (tax) from the people and enrich themselves. This is backwards. Yes the teachers are good people, yes they have a right to a decent wage, but it has gotten too out of hand. There is a paradigm shift now, the educated teachers should know that. Demographics have changed. Less young and more elderly that will require more resources. This is just the reality!
Sal Randazzo June 29, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I just wish some of you would understand basic economics. Every dollar that a person can keep and not pay in taxes, does not disappear from the economy. Even if that money stays saved in a bank somewhere, it is available to be loaned out by the banker. This allows more capital to go in to productive areas of the economy. The money can be borrowed to start a new business or expand an existing one. It may be spent at a local restaurant to celibate a birthday and provide a job for someone in the service sector. Every dollar saved in taxes will be directed to something, but it will be directed in the way that the taxpayer deems best. If it is donated to a church or charity, ultimately it will go to help some one in need. It's our money, we will choose how to spend our tax savings. We reject the notion that the government knows best how to spend our money. They might if they where all angels, but they are not all angels.
john Waterman June 29, 2012 at 03:55 PM
So you are saying that tax payers having extra spending cash is more important than investing in our children's education. I do not consider having extra cash to spend a sacrifice.
john Waterman June 29, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Sal, I would prefer to see your tax returns and business sales receipts. What is your true income and not what is reported after tax deductions as job creator or creative accounting offsets. How much more are you worth than a teacher who you feel is so overpaid.
D Friese June 29, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Guess we shouldn't fund police or fire protection, infrastructure or any government services unless people wanted to pay an individual fee for using them. Wonder what it would cost for a police insurance policy and would it be transferrable to other jurisdictions. Supply side economics is a farce! The oligarchs are sitting on billions garnered from the Bush tax cuts rather than reinvesting in the economy.
Sal Randazzo June 29, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Nobody sits on billions unless it's tucked under a mattress. Even if that where the case, if that money was kept out of circulation, it would increase the value of the money that was left in circulation in the economy. That is supply side economics. The oligarchs billions that you refer to are more likely saved in a bank and available to a creditworthy borrowers to finance a new business or advance a promising new discovery or idea, or buy a house or car. Private security instead of police does exist and works well. Fire departments where originally run by insurance companies and not the government. Each building would have a symbol on the front of it that represented the particular insurance company that secured it. The insurance companies own fire department would come to the rescue. America went many years with this system and it worked. It may be hard to believe but there could be greater priorities in some peoples lives than education. For example a person that had to care for elderly parents may place a greater value on their care rather than children's education. True that there is not a lot of investing going on now, but that is a factor of the uncertainty in the economy. People with capital are not going to invest if their investments may be threatened. In Venezuela, Pres. Chavez confiscated all the large private businesses, gas, oil, utilities, etc. Now who would invest in Venezuela knowing that your investment could be taken at a whim of a Dictator.
Sal Randazzo June 29, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Extra cash for food, blankets, a more comfortable bed (lots of people in the area don't actually have a bed to sleep on but instead are sleeping on the floor, couch or recliner because they can't afford one). Yes, in fact there may be some things more important than having a state of the art weight lifting room or an Olympic swimming pool that has a floor that raises up and down for your dear child. It is a matter of priorities. If you personally have all your necessitates met, and you don't need of anything...why don't you take your tax savings and donate it to the schools voluntarily. Nobody is stopping you from helping the schools. Just don't use the government force to come and rob me of my money, because I may have something better to use my money on, I may have different priorities.
Sal Randazzo June 29, 2012 at 06:09 PM
I don't know why you would want to make my arguments personal? Asking to see my financials seems like a red herring argument to me. If I did show you my personal financial statements and you dissected them to your satisfaction and then compared them to the average Saline School Teacher... and you found that the teacher was better off, would I win the argument? Let me know if a comparison would satisfy you of my point and would you concede to my argument. My argument restated is...it is wrong to use government force to confiscate my money to hand it over to government run public education. Especially when the mission of public education was to provide a basic education to a minority in our society that where too poor to afford a private education. What we have now in Saline, is a state of the art public education that chokes out private competition and subsidizes the wealthier residence of Saline by allowing them to avoid paying for their children's education in the private sector. If the more well off folks among us would pay for the true costs of their children's education you would see fewer McMansions and luxury cars in Saline as people would have to live within their means.
Sal Randazzo June 29, 2012 at 06:24 PM
A lot of the argument on this thread in favor of Public Schools and in favor of teacher unions, really has a fascist and socialist tone to it. A lot of you liberal Democrats don't even realize that your party has been co-opted by socialists and you have adopted the socialist, protectionist rhetoric. At least for the sake of Independence Day, lets celebrate the founding principles of this country. They are...Limited government, free market capitalism, sound money, private property, individual rights, personal responsibility with liberty and justice for all!
john Waterman June 29, 2012 at 06:27 PM
I believe the education of the children of Saline is the best investment for the citizens of Saline. The schools have provided a tremendous return on our investment. I believe in helping all children and some individuals just want to help themself. I agree that our priorities are different. My number one priority is the education of our children and will work for candidates this November who feel the same. I know you will be dedicated to your personal priorities.
Sal Randazzo June 29, 2012 at 06:42 PM
You may believe that the best investment for Saline is education. Problem is, you don't have any supporting evidence of the benefits. Majority of the Kids leave the area. Saline is in deep financial trouble. All property values continue to slide downwards and business continue to close. So I fail to see the payback in the investment.
D Friese June 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Fascist and Socialist? Really!
D Friese June 29, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Historically, like Saline most communities had volunteer fire departments. Private security forces for the most part exist in gated communities, for plant and office protection and at Malls. If there is an incident they call the tax payer funded police. Of course we can always look at the exemplary record of Black Water in Iraq to view how well they function.
D Friese June 30, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Mr. Randazzo, have you ever read the Preamble to the Constitution?
Sal Randazzo June 30, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Yes I have and you can usually find me with a copy in my pocket. I have also read the preamble to the Declaration of Independence. I especially like this line... We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. The purpose of Government is to secure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Seems limited to me. I would like government to secure my liberty to spend my money so I can pursue my happiness as I see fit.
Sal Randazzo June 30, 2012 at 04:34 AM
Oh, you got me. You have won the argument against private security because of a company called Black Water. I know that the government only employs angels and there have never been any missteps by government police, military, TSA, IRS or any other government agency. The truth is...people are people no matter who or where they work. A government paycheck does not convey some magical power on people to make them perfect. Not as far as I have heard. There are good and bad in both the private and public sector. Government employment is not utopia.
john Waterman June 30, 2012 at 11:48 AM
I like this line too, but the powers of from consent is where we would differ. I believe the government can serve the common good and do somethings more efficient than the private sector. The citizens of Saline believe our schools are a great investment. Many families have moved here for the schools. Taxes to support the school has the consent of the citizens is desired by most residents in Saline. There are a few citizens who would love to abolish the schools so they can pay no taxes. I am a political moderate and believe in containing cost and personal responsibility. The pull from extremist to cut or end every form of taxation is destroying our communities. We have gone too far and the claims of blotted government are ridiculous. We need to pay for our schools and that can not happen if we keep cut taxes. Our schools are still at the edge of a cliff and the great teachers of Saline are making a sacrifice. A few citizens are celebrating these cuts and want more. Most of Saline wish we did have to cut the wages of our great teachers.
Sal Randazzo June 30, 2012 at 02:34 PM
I would question your belief that the government can be more efficient than the private sector. This in my opinion if false and the facts would support me. Because government has the monopoly power of force and it can take what it wants from the people, it has no incentive to be cost efficient. State wide, public schools get about the same amount of money per pupil, yet some school district outcomes are horrendous. Money then is not the only answer. Generally, private schools cost less than public and have better outcomes than public schools. Free market competition always produces the most at the least cost. You can look at the old Soviet Union for an example of your belief that Government control can serve the private good more efficiently. That is the extreme example of your belief, total state control. It failed miserably. Our form of government limited the power of the government and left the people free to innovate. Clearly the constitution was written to limit (constrain) government and free the people. In a free society, nothing limits you from contributing to free schools. Governments fail (as they did in Rome) when the majority of people use the power of the government to elect politicians to give them free stuff. To take money from some and redistribute it to others. This is tyranny of the majority.
Sal Randazzo June 30, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Mr. Waterman, your stated goal is to elect politicians that will use government power to tax (take) money from some and use it to expand public education. Indeed you may have or know some folks that have earned their livings from this "taking". The constitution does not grant the people any rights. It states that all rights come from a creator and can not be taken away (unalienable) by government. The right to speak, to love, to earn a living, to mary, to have children, etc.We give some of our rights to the government to keep us safe, protect our life and property etc. so we can pursue our own brand of happiness as long as we do not infringe on the rights of others. You do not posses the right to go to your neighbor and take his or her money to educate your child even if you think it is important to you. Likewise, you can not confer to government a right that you do not posses (consent of the governed) to take money from your neighbor on your behalf. Government is not run by angles. Eventually it becomes corrupt. The idea of the founders was to keep government limited so corruption was minimized. Saline Schools may not be corrupt, but other schools that operate under your principles are terribly corrupted (Detroit etc.) Your ideas of bigger government do not work in a sustainable way. The United State was the first experiment in freedom, and it was a huge success. Lets not march back to Statisim or Fascism (private ownership with government control) Happy Independence Day!
Randy June 30, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Education is liberty. Period. Hence, education for all.
Sal Randazzo June 30, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Wow. Education could be indoctrination too! Here's a quote for you! "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." George Washington
Sal Randazzo June 30, 2012 at 03:35 PM
www.khanacademy.org Free education for all! Without extortion! That is real liberty!
D Friese June 30, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Hi John, actually whether teachers make concessions or not will not affect your tax bill. That 6 mill levy for homesteads will continue on its route to Lansing.
john Waterman June 30, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Sal true liberty is our discuss and ability to openly disagree. Have a great fourth.

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