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Fairness: In The Eye Of The Beholder

POSTED April 24, 2012 10:48 p.m.

Dear Editor,

In response to Michelle Burke’s letter, “Let’s Clarify, Shall We?”, and in support of Pat Pfefferle’s letter, “Looking for a Fair Settlement.”

A school that is deficit spending, according to the budget, should not be granting anyone a raise. It’s a mixed message. This year, the Board has laid off one of the two new first year teachers in addition to asking for a cut from the teachers, and also found in projections, a $19,000 cut to our aides. It’s not just five furlough days (teachers are willing to accept this), it’s also a permanent 2.5 percent decrease to their salaries. That’s a 5 percent pay cut this year. A raise based on what Mrs. Griffiths “deserves” is not in the best interest of Knights Ferry School. There are 12 employees including the janitor (next year, 11 due to the layoff) and emotions should be considered when making these difficult decisions. If Mrs. Griffiths “deserves” a pay increase what’s that say about our teachers? I do not feel that some of her choices benefit “every student” at the school but I do wish her the best.

Mrs. Griffiths came into this position as an intern the summer of 2007 and was able to have schooling for her administration credentials paid for by the school. And let’s face it, she has a great job! True, she hasn’t had a raise in three years but as an intern getting her school paid for and our enrollment numbers decreasing every year, I hope she would understand. She is currently still attending classes but will be finished the end of this school year.

But it’s done, Mrs. Griffiths got a raise and all that is left now is the potential teacher’s cut. If the board proceeds with the furlough days, they will be taken this year. If the Board proceeds with a 2.5 percent pay cut, the entire year’s worth will be deducted out of the teacher’s remaining paychecks this school year.

I wholeheartedly agree that our teachers do a fabulous job educating our children. Parents bring their children up to this school for the teachers. I also hope that this matter can be resolved soon because negotiations, mediation, and fact finding have taken time, money, and camaraderie from our classrooms.

Tasha Sweet,
Concerned parent, a Parent Seat on School Site Council, and PTC Secretary

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