LETTER: Teacher Contract Will Be Costlier Than Anticipated

Tiverton School Committee candidate Ruth Hollenbach says the teacher's union contract that could be ratified by the School Committee tonight is misleading.

Before Tiverton’s history-making FTR, the school department announced there would only be two options if voters chose the smaller budget: close an elementary school or cancel all extracurricular activities, including athletics and some music.

How big was the possible gap? At its last meeting before the FTR, Supt. William Rearick told the School Committee, “when all is said and done, about $340,000 to $350,000,” after using up reserves.

Don’t miss this, people of Tiverton: The committee is now preparing to approve an agreement with the teachers’ union that would add much more than that to the next two budgets!

Approval is scheduled for [tonight], Tuesday, Aug. 14, 7:00 p.m. at the High School library.  Details of the plan only became available Friday, and the director of finance is on vacation, but an estimate from prior years suggests that this deal will add over $440,000 to the next budget and almost $800,000 to the next one.  

In total, taxpayers will spend about $1.3 million more for teacher compensation than if the spending had remained constant.  And the $1.3 million compensation increase will be far higher when healthcare is included.

Pay increases in the second two years of the contract will be a mix of raises, one-time stipends, and extra money for two professional development days, paid at $70/hour.  Teachers’ pay will go up 4.6 percent to 21.8 percent depending on years worked.  Average actual increases will be 1.6% the first year, 4.3 percent the second year, and 2.9 percent the third year. Eighty percent of teachers at step 10 will see their base salaries pass $70,000.

This doesn’t include longevity payments up to $600 dollars for step 10 teachers or bonuses for advanced degrees.

As a candidate for Tiverton school committee, I am all for a motivated, well-compensated teaching staff. But there’s no way to guarantee that voters will accept these increases with this hurting economy, especially with so much work to be done on the buildings and grounds.

The first year of the agreement is already budgeted and should be approved, but things could change in November, in the town, state and nation. A committee that’s really concerned about the education of our children shouldn’t take risks just to lock in  $1-2 million in increased teacher compensation a few months before the election, especially after just suing the town for more money and then pushing for even more money at the FTR, just three months ago.

Ruth Hollenbach

Tiverton Resident

Ruth Hollenbach is a candidate for Tiverton Town Council.

Jim L August 15, 2012 at 05:45 PM
yes some do i guess that would be all those reasonable folks who voted in the FTR
Ruth Rachel August 18, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Gloria, it's on video - you yelling at me at the Financial Town Referendum Hearing. I was just standing in line and you got irate, rude, and it was ugly. Tiverton! we need to go way higher than where Gloria Crist is!
Ruth Rachel August 18, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Tiverton D, you just said "Community be damned!" and no one is surprised! Please be more positive in your comments!
Ruth Rachel August 18, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Brian, again, whoever has tried to make Our Town financially responsible and viable has failed. They all had their chance! It didn't work, and now we, the Tiverton voters who voted for the FTR, are going to move forward and continue to make the town more fiscally viable. AND, we're going to do it with athletics and music in the schools! which apparently the current group in the SC says it cannot do... and with better teaching! Please either give good ideas, or stop trashing people who have done great, historic things for Our Town, Your Town. It's Your Town, Tiverton voters! Yay!!
Ruth Rachel August 18, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Tiverton, please note the crass and insulting words of Naome Lixes, to Joe Sousa, someone who has donated time and work to the Tiverton Senior Center and many other town projects. This is the type of person that supports higher and higher taxes.
Ruth Rachel August 18, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Tiverton Voters, READ GLORIA C's post and see what kind of entity is for jacking taxes up higher and higher, no matter how many people lose their homes and cannot pay their bills!
Ruth Rachel August 18, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Yes, Jim, the topic of racism has no place in this discussion (and I see he did twist your words - he think that if he says this on the blogs it will make you look bad even if not true) - obviously they are looking for distracting talk, another waste of everyone's time. Tiverton Voters are smarter than anyone who would listen to distracting drivel!!!!
Brian Medeiros August 18, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Jim L: I'll make you a deal. When you stop saying foolish, inaccurate things, I'll stop correcting you. You trying to speak about things you know nothing about is a waste of everybody's time. Step increases ARE included in the school budget. What you, Mr Katz, Ms Hollenbach & the rest fail to understand (or intentionally misstate?) is the difference between a CONTRACT and a BUDGET. It's comical watching you folks criticizing a contract-impact statement for not being a budget. I know a little about this Jim, because I wrote the law that requires the TC & SC to put them out before approving a contract. The idea of putting things not affected by a new contract into an impact-statement is what's TRULY misleading, and that's the point, isn't it?
Brian Medeiros August 18, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Jim L: Really, that's all you have to change the subject? Answered 658 times now.
Brian Medeiros August 18, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Jim L: You like to promote yourself as polite & positive. Do you even read your own comments? Nasty personal attacks without a shred of fact behind them. That's a great standard for discussion: others have to disprove your phony attacks or you'll keep it up. If you want respect, you should start showing some.
KSilvia August 18, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Ms. Hollenbach said "Please either give good ideas, or stop trashing people" I agree. Please give us your specific ideas about what you will do to make our schools better - other than the general statement "we will keep sports and extras and have better teaching" - How specifically? When insurance and sped. ed and oil and other things rise, how will you do that - will you support raising taxes to cover that or will you cut things? Specifics. Ms. Hollenbach says, "see what kind of entity is for jacking taxes up higher and higher, no matter how many people lose their homes and cannot pay their bills!" Mrs. Hollenbach you supported a budget this spring that would have increased spending by the Council by 4.6% (3X that recommended by the bud. comm.) and would have used phoney revenue to pay for it and taken our reserves below the charter regs right before a bond issue. So you support an organization that would jack up spending higher and higher, regardless of the people who are suffering. And then YOU supported gutting the schools to pay for it. By the way, just as a reminder - the PEOPLE of Tiverton set the budget in OUR town, not any group.
Brian Medeiros August 18, 2012 at 09:05 PM
T Dad: Thanks for a little reality. Jim either knows he's lying or is so out of touch he believes his own delusions. This is always his last resort to deflect from the facts every time he's refuted.
Brian Medeiros August 18, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Ruth: Good try to distract from your indefensible words and positions. My comments are all still available and disprove your sadly obvious attempt to deflect from the topic at hand.
KSilvia August 18, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Agree Liz!
KSilvia August 18, 2012 at 09:15 PM
OH Ruth. Do you really want to go there? There was an entire room full of people in the auditorium who saw what really happened.
Brian Medeiros August 18, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Ruth: Just the same old angry, fact-less accusations. How about, I don't know, one actual fact? So you're going to improve the schools by cutting them $600K, starting a war with the union, and regularly mocking the schools? For truth-in-advertising purposes, you should make that your campaign slogan. This right-wing idea that you can cut taxes & budgets and not cut any programs to pay for it is a fantasy. And since you're SO concerned about taxpayers, please explain why you supported the TCC efforts in the FTR to take $600 K from the schools & add it to the TCC-led Council's budget instead of returning it to taxpayers? And please elaborate on the "great, historic things" you've done for Tiverton.
Brian Medeiros August 18, 2012 at 09:21 PM
KSilvia: Thanks for contributing actual facts and logic to this discussion. Cue the TCC efforts to change the subject in 3,2,1...
BD August 18, 2012 at 09:24 PM
"specific ideas"? While the crickets are playing, I'll help out...it's going to be the same answer the public received when TCC's Dear Leader was asked the same question...nothing. It's my understanding Dear Leader is personally reviewing the biographies of the TCC candidates before public consumption. Can we get an idea when that will be?
Just Another Taxpayer August 18, 2012 at 10:17 PM
How is your pathological obsession/hatred of the superintendent of schools, related to the School Committee approving a teacher's contract? Last time I checked, the superintendent of schools does not get to vote on contracts.
Just Another Taxpayer August 18, 2012 at 10:20 PM
I hope everyone knows "Ruth Rachel" is Ruth Hollenbach.
Gloria Crist August 18, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Welcome to the discussion Ruth Rachel Hollenbach- obviously, you have been given permission to speak. I do so hope you, Justin Katz and Sue Anderson will agree to a public open debate on how the three of you-who have for years- fought against our schools/community make changes for the better? Seriously Ruth, I do not think your knowledge of teaching swim lessons( which we keep hearing again and again and again and...well, you get it) will be of any value-but at least give us the opportunity to hear you out on all the things you will do to "improve" our schools and this community. You did agree to Mr. Nelson's budget that raised spending, correct? You backed the TCC on the $600,000 taken from the schools and have no problem with the $100,000 it cost YOU as a taxpayer? Please point out the post where I stated I want everyone to lose their homes and not be able to pay their bills? Sadly this is where you and members of the TCC have contributed the most. I am proud to be part of a group that has had enough of your lies, made up facts, and alarmist statements that serve no point what so ever. We want our town back-want community back for everyone who lives here, every family,single parent, elderly, home-schooled, public schooled-member of this community. And please do pull up that video tape-it will clearly show what I said to you after you started screaming at me, the town moderator and anyone else in your path that night. "Zip it." Pretty clean and simple. Zip it indeed.
Gloria Crist August 18, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Oh. And to add to the voice of reason? In an article about the wind turbine in Portsmouth please see Joe Sousa's comment on what he thought the solution should be: Joe Sousa. 12:10 pm on Thursday, July 12, 2012 Burn it and collect the insurance . And he is running for town council of Tiverton???!!! Crazy is as crazy does and look what crazy collects? More crazy boys and girls- more darn crazy. Tiverton- it is time to take our town back-first, and foremost.
Jim L September 30, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Has anyone running for school commitee from T1/curb done Mr Katz math yet? Is he correct that the teacher contract has cost not figured correctly? No one seems to answer this and it should be a vital question for any canidate
Hayley S December 10, 2012 at 04:08 PM
To KSilvia - your link has nothing negative in it - she is only defending from nasty attacks and putting forth ideas and the desire for new ideas. So that shows Your PRoblem, now doesn't it?
Hayley S December 10, 2012 at 04:10 PM
22% is right! and over 10 years the increase is 100%. NMany now pay DOUBLE what they paid 10 years ago. Time to retake your math! Or I guess you went to THS?
Hayley S December 10, 2012 at 04:13 PM
To Christ and Silvia - You may want to look - she got 2226 VOTES ! and that is excellent for a first time candidate! AND she was on the HISTORIC commiittee that designed the FTR !!!!! Thank you Ruth!!! YOu and the group who changed things for the better will go down in HISTORY! Same as those who fought it will go down on the wrong side of history............
Hayley S December 10, 2012 at 04:15 PM
To Gloria on the Financial Town HEaring comment - she started yelling at Ruth - I saw it and yes, it's on tape. Ruth never raised her voice. Why do you constantly LIE???
Hayley S December 10, 2012 at 04:18 PM
BM, Many people pay double what they paid in taxes 10 years ago. That's a 100% increase - or didn't you learn that math - where did you go to school?!
Hayley S December 10, 2012 at 04:20 PM
BM, they DON't raise the value of your property - when taxes are crazy high, people don't move here!!! The student population is going DOWN! Only wealthy people who send their kids to better private schools move here.....
Renee Cwiek December 10, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Hayley, Are you seriously still going on about this? Find something else to do.


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