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North Syracuse teachers give a little back

District mulls 2.8 tax increase, staff restorations

Before the North Syracuse Central School District Board of Education began their 7 p.m. meeting Monday March 29, there was an executive session at 6:30 p.m. to discuss salary negotiations.

After adjourning executive session, the board approved a salary negotiation of a 2.125 percent salary increase for district faculty as opposed to the previous 4.25 percent increase.

This agreement has been settled for two years, during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years, and will expire June 30, 2012.

The difference in the percentages will generate approximately $1.3 million for the 2010-11 school year. With this implementation, about 19 jobs can be restored, according to NSCSD Superintendent Dr. Jerome Melvin.

The re-negotiation also includes a "salary freeze" on co-curricular and in-service positions, also through July 30, 2012.

Lastly, a renegotiation for a 2.125 salary increase was also established for district principals and middle managers. This change will generate about $64,000, which can be redirected elsewhere in terms of the district's shortfall of $12.8 million.

"Those funds can either go toward reducing the tax rate," Melvin said. "Or where we need it most."

Where the numbers add up

The district began with a $12.8 million shortfall and a 3.3 tax levy. However, the "almost definite" loss of county sales tax revenue has caused the Board of Education to seek an additional $1.6 million in additional cuts, Melvin said.

On March 8, the board received both resignations and retirement notices from approximately 25 staff members. Any positions being replaced would most likely have "breakage," Melvin said, because the new employees would have a lower entry salary. Because of this, there would be somewhat of a percentage of savings.

Another dilemma, Melvin said, is the lack of confidence in the "partial restoration of state aid" for next year.

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