Guest Columns

Letter to the Editor: Bedford Teacher Unions Should Agree to Salary Freeze

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To the Editor:
The BCSD board of Education maybe forced to make drastic cuts to the budget to close an estimated $3.3 million budget gap.
If these cuts happen, just as in 2016, many untenured teachers will lose their jobs. Untenured staff are typically younger teachers or those who are new to the field. Many have young families and like the rest of us are struggling to make things work in this brave new world.
If our unions (the BTA, BASA, and CSEA) all agreed to a 1-2 year salary freeze, not only would those jobs be saved, but so would programs and courses for our kids. A Salary freeze from the BTA alone would be approximately $2.25-2.5 million annually.
As many of you remember, In 2015 the union didn’t agree to a salary freeze, which resulted in a mass firing of 52 full time employees for the 2016/17 school year. Programs and staff that directly impacted our students were cut. Librarians, the arts, athletics, clubs, and even HS electives were lost.
But we can prevent this bloodletting if we all come together as a community. As taxpayers we will continue to fund our schools and pass our budgets, fundraise and volunteer despite financial hardship our families our experiencing, if the unions agree to share in this sacrifice by giving up their built-in salary increases to Save Our Teachers.
Now more than ever we all must share in the burden to continue to help BCSD thrive. Please come to the table and agree to a pay freeze. We love our teachers and we want to keep them all.
Pam Harney

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