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An open letter to Stewart Mininsky, President Long Beach Board of Education
Your recent public statement with regard to the status of negotiations between the Board of Education and the Long Beach Schools Employees Association was an insult to all of my hard-working and dedicated members; more so given that you previously served as the association's Vice-President, NY State SRP Advisory Committee member, and Grievance Chair.
Your statement makes it abundantly clear that you and your fellow trustees believe that the burden of a balanced budget should weigh heaviest on the shoulders of the lowest paid and most vulnerable school district employees.
The concern you expressed about the constraints placed on the district by Governor Cuomo's tax cap legislation is a shared concern; but why then did you, and three sitting Trustees, vote "yes" on a contract which richly rewarded the district's administrators with an almost 10% raise? The average administrator's salary has increased by $18,000 over the past five years, while under your leadership, as President of the Board, you offer my members a fraction of a percent. I ask you, which employee's salary drive's the budget increases?
As you know the members of the LBSEA are predominantly Long Beach residents. We pay school taxes and almost all of our disposable income goes directly to Long Beach merchants. We are your friends and neighbors and deserve to be treated with respect. Negotiations are supposed to be collective bargaining, not collective begging.
I hope that you will recognize that you owe your former union sisters and brothers an apology and a fair contract settlement.
Joanne Rea, President Long Beach Schools Employees Association
Statement from Stewart Mininsky
Long Beach Board of Education President
As many of you may know, the Board of Education has been moving through the process of trying to reach an agreement with our employee's association Long Beach School Employees Association. As a Board, our primary goal when entering into any negotiation is to strike a balance between what is fair to our employees and what the ultimate impact will be on the taxpayers of our community and on our students.
Of course, we want to do all we can to recruit and retain the highest caliber of employees who work within our district at all levels. A large component of this is offering competitive compensation, benefits and the needed support for our entire staff to effectively perform their jobs. At the same time, in the "tax cap" era and during a time when unfunded mandates continue to increase, we, as a Board, must be mindful of our district's budget. The bottom line of every financial decision we make is how it will ultimately affect our students and the greater community.
On behalf of the entire Board, I look forward to continuing our conversation with the employee's association Long Beach School Employees Association. To assist us in the impasse we have worked with a mediator but have not yet reached an agreement. The Board is committed to this process and will continue to work toward a fair agreement for our employees and tax payers.Type your paragraph here.