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Crown Point teachers agree to pay freeze

CROWN POINT - Crown Point Central School teachers have agreed to forgo scheduled pay raises to avoid lay offs.

The Crown Point Teachers Association voted to accept a pay freeze for the 2009-10 academic year after learning of budget proposals calling for job cuts, Connie Pereau, CPTA president, said.

"It was a difficult decision, but the alternative was cuts in staff which would have affected the educational process," Pereau said. "The decision was made to keep us whole."

Crown Point Superintendent Shari Brannock praised the teacher union, noting the decision will save the district more than $100,000.

"The teachers should be credited with showing tremendous character to help protect student programs, control the budget, save jobs and preserve the future of our school," Brannock said.

"The residents of Crown Point should rest assured that the teachers' selfless act of accepting the pay freeze will allow the district to offer a significantly lower budget than was otherwise anticipated and maintain the valued educational programming the district has worked hard to develop," she added.

The CPTA represents 32 teachers and seven teaching assistants.

Pereau said Brannock presented the CPTA with two budget scenarios, one that eliminated several full-time positions and another that took full-time positions and made them part-time. She declined to give details of the proposals.

"You have to look at what's best for the kids," Pereau said. "This is how we were best able to maintain the educational process for them."

Pereau noted this is a one-time, one-year agreement.

"I hope economically things pick up and it won't come to this again," said Pereau, referring to recessionary pressures on the school budget.

Brannock praised the CPTA decision.

"This generous concession is being applauded by all members of the Crown Point school community," she said. "By agreeing to a pay freeze the district will be able to avoid teacher layoffs which would result in reduced educational programs the district currently offers its students."

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