A group of 265 custodians, teacher’s aides and office workers employed by the Bedford school district has agreed to a 5-year deal that will pay raises of between 1 and 1.5 percent while requiring members to pay more of their health insurance costs.
Members of the support staff represented by the Civil Service Employees Association will earn raises of 1 percent this year and in 2013, and raises of 1.5 percent in 2014 and 2015. In the last year of the contract, which calls for a pay raise of 1 percent, the school district agreed to reopen the negotiations to account for changes in the economy.
“In the fifth year we have that option because we are hoping for a booming economy that will allow us to get a bigger raise,” says Mary Lou Cavaliere, the president of CSEA Local 860. “None of us have a crystal ball, but we hope the economy will improve.”
Teachers and administrators are covered under separate contracts and are not part of the deal.
The austere times that started with the recession in 2008 has forced Bedford and districts across the metropolitan region to struggle to balance budgets. Earlier this year, Bedford laid off three dozen bus drivers and outsourced their routes in a cost-cutting move.
Those bus drivers used to be represented by the CSEA.
The new five-year contract, which was approved by the Board of Education on Wednesday, also calls for CSEA employees to increase their contribution to health care costs over the next five years to 12 percent.
Tuckahoe High School valedictorian will attend Fordham (probably with a merit scholarship), salutatorian will be at Iona College with Dean’s Scholarship, and another top scholar will attend Stonybrookʼs Honors College. Related to this story: Families in New York’s Lower Hudson Valley adjust to rising college costs
A new poll of 1,000 adults — released by Widmeyer Communications — has mixed results for those in higher education. About 60 percent of the 1,000 adults surveyed said they believed college was a good investment, with only 12 percent disagreeing, and the rest saying they didn’t know. But the poll found Americans split on whether college is as valuable today as it was 20 years ago, with 46 percent agreeing, and 41 percent disagreeing — despite countless statements from educators that college is more necessary today than at previous points in American history.
I gave at the office
Finally, I wonder if colleges get much money when they solicit donations from parents who are currently paying $50,000+ per year for their kids to attend those same colleges.