Union working against taxpayers’ interests

“…the compulsory arbitration process is an unfunded mandate and should be repealed. If school districts are compelled into arbitration, a recommendation should be made to make arbitrators consider affordability. The most heavily weighted issue in interest arbitration should be the question of whether there is ability to pay on the part of the community whose taxes must support a pay increase. In making this determination, the arbitration panel should look beyond simplistic fiscal capacity measures, such as constitutional tax limits, to consider and analyze potential tax burdens and the income of the taxpayers who live in the community.”

The Lake George School District and the Board of Education would be wise to take note of the aforementioned in their ongoing contract negotiations with the teachers union.

With more than 500,000 members, NYSUT is huge, well-funded and well-organized. Their professional lobbyists know how to reach Albany legislators. According to research by Hunter Raines of the Albany Government Review, NYSUT and their affiliates lobbied the legislative branch for a total of $11.2 million dollars in the year 2008-2009.

New York State taxpayers are not nearly as well organized and as a result, our taxes have gone through the roof.

It is very important that the Triborough Amendment be revoked or modified in order for local municipalities and school districts to put a stop to the escalating costs to the taxpayers. This cannot be done by the local school district and taxpayers alone. It must be done by the state Legislature and our Governor.

If Albany cannot rein in NYSUT and the Triborough Amendment, the future for taxpayers in this state is very dim. New Yorkers are already fleeing the state in record numbers. It was recently reported that well over one million people left the state in the last 10 years.

Will the last one out please turn off the lights?

Philip Ostrom

Lake George

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