Recent contract postpones assumed teacher pay to next year
By Beezly Kiernan
There was a packed house - of high school students - at last Monday's Board of Education meeting. The students were upset that their school clubs were being shut down due to the resignations of their clubs' advisers.
"Two teachers have sent letters that they will no longer do this as volunteers," said Bob Dubik, Cazenovia Superintendent of Schools.
Apparently, the teachers thought they would be paid for their work as club advisers for the past year. They found out recently that they will only start being paid next year.
"Overall, the club thing was a mistake on both sides, just an oversight," said Elise Sparks, union president.
It's common for school clubs to start and for club advisers to contribute their time as volunteers for a certain trial period. Seven clubs--Equestrian, Communications, Science Olympiad, Tri-M, Model U.N., Middle School Art, and Middle School Science--have started within the past few years, and the club advisers have so far remained unpaid.
Some of the teachers were under the impression that they would receive retroactive pay for their work as club advisers this past year; however, a contract negotiated between the administration and the teacher's union, signed this past January, did not include that stipulation.
"They assumed," Sparks said.
So far, at least two teachers--Kristin Reichert and Jason Webb--have resigned in protest, effectively shutting down Science Olympiad and Communications Club. Equestrian Club has also shut down. Dubik insisted that the "District did not close any clubs down," but that the advisers themselves are responsible.
"I'm disappointed," Board member Karin Marris said, that "the teachers didn't come to the Board first," before resigning.
For their part, the students are standing by the teachers. Kayle Light, a senior in Communications, praised the adviser, Webb, for all his dedication and hard work, and asked why he should do so much work without getting paid.