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Teachers must make concessions

To the Times of Ti:

Starting in January a new, four-year Ticonderoga teacher’s contract will be negotiated. As school tax payers we need to voice our opinion about this contract to the school board, school superintendent and the school business manager.

Teachers’ salaries consumes 28 percent ($5.4 million) of the total budget.

Over the last 20 years teachers’ salaries have increased an average of 4.6 percent per year.

Over 30 percent of our teachers made between $60,000 and $100,000 in 2010. Another 30 percent made between $30,000 and $60,000.

Health insurance consumes 15 percent ($2.9 million) of the total budget.

Teachers and retirees only pay 10 percent of their (insurance0 premiums, far less than country’s average.

In my opinion there should be concessions in the new teachers’ contract.

The first concession should be a salary freeze over the next four years. Considering the past 20 years of salary increases, plus the opportunity to increase salary with continuation credits, this is a reasonable concession, especially in today’s economy. Assuming teachers’ salaries would increase 3.5 percent a year, this would save the tax payers approximately $800,000 over the next four years.

The second concession should be an increase in all school employees’ health insurance payments, including retirees. Health insurances premiums are predicted to go up 9 to 12 percent yearly. I propose that the school employees’ insurance payments increase to 25 percent over the next four years. Assuming a 10 percent in insurance premiums over the next four years, this would save the taxpayers approximately $1,320,000 over the next four years.

What should you as taxpayers do? Simple, contact your school board members and express your opinion.

Tom Allen

Ticonderoga

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