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Story - Education

Mar 31, 2010 12:42 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sag Harbor School District asks entire staff to consider pay freeze

Mar 31, 2010 12:42 PM

“Everyone is very distressed with the uncertainty,” she said. “People are going to start looking for other jobs now. These are fabulous teachers the principals in both buildings worked a long time to bring together. If we lose them, the district is going to start to fall apart.”

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Are you listening Westhampton Beach? Hello!! There's no more money! We don't have $100K for guidance counselors who rent out their homes in the summer. The party is officially over.
By realdeal (23), Southampton on Apr 1, 10 2:33 PM
3 members liked this comment
Is there a reason you've singled out westhampton beach?
By Whb82 (13), Westhampton Beach on Apr 1, 10 3:57 PM
It is interesting Dr. Gratto proposes a pay freeze for everyone now--but he made sure he got his hefty raise first!
By Mrs.Sea (268), Sag Harbor on Apr 1, 10 3:02 PM
2 members liked this comment
Gratto deserves any penny. --, since he his the only one in that school attempting to hold costs DOWN... If the teachers unions have their way, spending will go nuts, and no one will be afford to live in the school district in a few years
By nicole (96), Hampton Bays on Apr 2, 10 8:23 PM
At what cost does Gratto deserve a raise--the hard feelings and rift in the community?--maybe his raise could have gone toward the education and well-being of our children--isn't that an interesting theory! Maybe some of the extra-curricular programs that benefit the students could have stayed intact instead of his taking the money! How is Gratto taking a large raise saving the district money?
By Mrs.Sea (268), Sag Harbor on Apr 3, 10 10:48 AM
Actually, the district has the teachers exactly where they want them...I highly doubt teachers would be going out looking for other jobs, because in case you haven't paid attention, nobody's hiring!
By cat (18), Riverhead on Apr 1, 10 4:02 PM
I support a combination of both a salary freeze (It's NOT a hardship to have a guaranteed income every week)... and a cut in benefits. Where else to employees reap such a big pile of benefits as the teachers have? They should contribute 50% to their own health care cost; That's what the real world does. And THAT will help the budget!
We have to get control of the ever increasing spending.

By SagHarborBob (91), Sag Harbor on Apr 1, 10 4:52 PM
Ms. Kochanasz says above that the taxpayers have traditionally supported the school budget. Don't you think it is time for the teachers and staff of the school to try to help the taxpayers in these economic times. Stop being so selfish and be happy you have a paying job. A lot of the taxpayers aren't that lucky right now. I agree with the pay freeze and with the comments of pressguy, Sag HarborBob and cat and will be doing all that I can to get voters to really think before they vote on the ...more
By favaunt (24), Sag Harbor on Apr 1, 10 8:42 PM
You and others seem very annoyed that the teachers make as much as they do. I have but one question: Would you not fight for every penny you could at your job? Or would you agree to a pay cut for the good of the company? This contract I'm sure was signed before the economy tanked, would you not want your contract honored?
By Whb82 (13), Westhampton Beach on Apr 3, 10 12:46 PM
Everyone is aware of the economic times, but lets not forget that teachers perform an extremely important professional job. They deserve to be paid as professionals. Many locals appear to be jealous and resentful of teachers and cops. Remember all people have a choice to what they wish for a living.
By reality 101 (137), East Hampton on Apr 1, 10 9:40 PM
The teachers and cops have a choice too. If a district can't pay you what you need look elsewhere or find another career. NYS is paying some of the highest teacher/public service salaries in the country (if you don't believe me just look to the south and west of our great state for comparison) and it has reached the breaking point with taxpayers. The salary excesses are absurd. It is time for change.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Apr 1, 10 9:54 PM
2 members liked this comment
Not only should there be a freeze, but what about the benefits??? Teachers, like the rest of the world should be contributing much more to health insurance and retirements. Why are teachers different then the rest of the world? Many people, yes, even on the east end, have taken cut backs in salaries; no raises in the last two years; have been asked to do more in their employment or have just lost their job. Instead of "automatic" pay increases, teachers should earn their raises through performace. ...more
By powerwalker (52), Southampton on Apr 1, 10 10:49 PM
As we read the comments above and below, don't forget that the teachers are enjoying yet another paid week off.
By SagHarborBob (91), Sag Harbor on Apr 2, 10 6:09 AM
1 member liked this comment
There seems to be some logic in what many people say here but this screams jealousy. I imagine that many teachers are grading papers and taking graduate courses to better prepare our kids.
By 14thgeneration (2), Sag Harbor on Apr 5, 10 4:25 PM
Why does every story about the Sag Harbor Schools have to turn iinto negative, hateful comments about the teachers? This freeze will affect ALL employees--including those in the District Office--they are the ones that are never mentioned--and they are the ones that are continually hired at exhorbitant starting salaries!
Why didn't Gratto just propose the wage freeze in the beginning of all of this mess and let the teachers just stay with the current contract? So many hard feelings and fighting ...more
By Mrs.Sea (268), Sag Harbor on Apr 2, 10 8:00 AM
Sorry, but I don't have much sympathy for the Sag Harbor teachers. I used to support our teachers, but now they are just about MORE, MORE, MORE. When the rest of us have to take pay cuts to keep our jobs, the teachers whine about not getting their raises. Just HOW many days have the teachers worked this year anyway?????
By lovesag (17), Sag Harbor on Apr 2, 10 10:00 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By lovesag (17), Sag Harbor on Apr 2, 10 10:00 AM
The reality of the situation is that this is happening in districts all over the island..actually the country. So go ahead and look for employment elsewhere, good luck with that. Unless you plan on moving to a city, you will find that postings for open teaching positions are few. I understand how hard teachers work, to educate and in some case help raise our kids these days. However, no job, union or non union is immune to the effects of this economy. Take the pay freeze, you don't miss what ...more
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on Apr 2, 10 1:24 PM
Frequently, teachers remind me of professional athletes pining for another few million tacked onto their already excessive pay packages.

Am I the only one?
By Mr. Z (11494), North Sea on Apr 2, 10 1:37 PM
the teachers are actually far WORSE, because the athletes arent screwing over taxpayers.
By nicole (96), Hampton Bays on Apr 2, 10 8:20 PM
3 members liked this comment
Actually, if your neighborhood is desirable, and they move in, most likely they will screw you, and your children.

Oh, wait, the "elite" did that here...
By Mr. Z (11494), North Sea on Apr 2, 10 11:33 PM
It is time to be grateful you have a job. Times are hard for everyone. Teachers wake up! step outside of the bubble and look around. The cuts are going to happen, let us teach our students by example about dignity. About everyone coming together in hard times, not whining and kicking our neighbor for a buck they may not have to give. I am a small business owner. I have taken it on the chin this year, I am holding on, not much more to give. benefits, I wish.
By RPK (3), Southampton on Apr 2, 10 4:50 PM
I've lost count, nor do I care to count, the times I've fixed cars, or computers for people who are broke, Don't really have the desire to get paid for the work, or an interest in taking what someone doesn't have.

I learned to share back in Mrs. Ricker's kindergarten class...
By Mr. Z (11494), North Sea on Apr 2, 10 11:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
School board, What were you thinking when you dished out a fat raise for one person(Gratto)who was by your account doing his job and saving the district
money. The teachers are doing there jobs and i have not seen a pay raise like Gratto recived .I know what we could do is to have Dr Gratto give back his fat pay raise and divide it up to all the teachers for doing there jobs,Teaching our
kids.
By taxpayer1 (72), Southampton on Apr 3, 10 9:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
Well, we have the Smith's, who have moved in from elewhere with a boatload of money in their pockets. Now, to have security, and the "American Dream", the Jones' must play catch up, and they need "fat raises", to live nominally, or even excessivel like their new, mostly part time neighbors, do. Most likely, whose lifestyle they covet.

Talk about trickle down economics...
By Mr. Z (11494), North Sea on Apr 4, 10 12:43 PM
how about the board paying Gratto 10,000 to move out here......wtf is that, time for total clean slate next time, these people are out of their mind, then he gets a raise, but the teachers, custodians etc. are expected to take a bath? Foil his contract very interesting....
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on Apr 5, 10 1:13 PM
Yeah, I heard that they paid to move Superintendent Gratto here and for what??? It seems like its mearly to ruin, not run, our local school system and its long standing good name. I had to check his contract out. I discovered that Gratto makes 200k, and gets a total of more than ten weeks off each year. There was a slue of benefits too.

People complain about teachers, but if they are smart they will go into administration, afterall there must be a demand if we need to ship in hired ...more
By 14thgeneration (2), Sag Harbor on Apr 5, 10 5:13 PM
There are way too many teachsrs. Class sizes should be increased from the current 12 - 15 per class to 20-25 per class. Some of the numerous electives need to be gotten rid of. The emphasis in school should be on the core subjects. The taxpayers can no longer afford to pay for the excesses that have beuilt up in schools over the past 20 years.
By Walt (288), Southampton on Apr 5, 10 8:39 PM
2 members liked this comment
The ultimate goal in educating our children from grades K - 12 is that they get into college. Cutting the FEW electives offered by Sag Harbor compared to most other schools in the area is absurd. Not everything is about money--we need our kids to be successful!
By Mrs.Sea (268), Sag Harbor on Apr 6, 10 12:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
3 points for clarification: 1)Isn't the (required) state pension contribution increasing over $1million this year, and isn't that one of if not THE single largest increase in costs? and 2)When Mr. Gratto asks for a pay freeze from teachers, would they still get their "STEP" increase of a few percent a year? and 3)If Salaries account for 60% of costs, what is the TOTAL labor percentage, including benefits, social security and the HUGE pension increase?
By saggish (8), sag harbor on Apr 6, 10 8:33 PM
Florida has the right idea on education: merit-based pay, and the abolition of Tenure.

http://educationnext.org/lets-hear-it-for-florida/
By nicole (96), Hampton Bays on Apr 8, 10 1:49 PM
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