The following is a letter to the editor submitted by Richard G. Putka:
With the election over, I would like to thank those that have supported me and congratulate the newly elected members of the Brecksville/Broadview Hts. School Board. Mr. Dosen and Mr. Ziegler along with current member Mr. Tryon have previously advocated reforming the way the board has previously done business. This past summer, the district commissioned a survey aimed at capturing the mindset of voters. In a nutshell, the constituents of the district wanted more information about compensation, the “step” salary system and other financial information. The new board will have to deal with the ever increasing deficits and will soon start negotiating a new labor contract. In the spirit of openness and reform, when negotiating the new contract, the new board should:
- Not sign a confidentiality agreement. Taxpayers should be a part of the negotiating process and should not learn years later that a contract was approved “without these cost controls, even though all parties knew such action would result in significant deficit spending” and that teachers threatened to strike, as what happened during the 2008 negotiations. Teachers are kept abreast of the negotiations, so should the taxpayers. (Editor’s note: The above quote from David Dosen came from a letter in the June 2010 issue of the Brecksville Magazine.)
- All proposals and counter-proposals should be formal and in writing. By state law, all formal proposals are public knowledge and must be made available to the public.
- Reduce the number of yearly “step” salary increases to the state mandated 12. This would still leave a maximum salary of over $80,000 per year, which most of the teachers would reach at the end of a 3-year contract.
- Rethink any proposal that contains a “temporary” new tax and a 2-tier salary structure. This proposal requires a significant turnover of higher cost teachers. With the district’s enrollment projected to decline approximately 9% by 2015, there will be little or no openings for new, lower cost second tier teachers. The result will be the “temporary” tax becoming permanent and costs continuing to rise because first tier teacher salaries will continue to climb up the “step” salary structure to a maximum of over $90,000 a year.
Richard G. Putka
Editor’s note: The views of this author—and of the authors of any other letters to the editor—do not reflect the views of Brecksville Patch. To share your views with the community on Brecksville Patch, email Editor Rachel Abbey McCafferty.