Friday, May 11, 2007

Olentangy Union Contract Negotiations

Dear Editor:

The Olentangy School District is in the midst of an "it's all for the students" moment as the board and administration negotiate with the unions over how much of your income they will extract in the future.

It's worth noting that employees of the district's unions have typically received 6 to 7 percent annual raises over the last decade. On top of that, these employees: pay no more than 20% for a fantastic health insurance package - $10 deductibles, etc.; receive fifteen sick days for a school year not to exceed 185 days, less snow days, etc. - reimbursable at retirement; can take up to three personal days; and receive a taxpayer-funded contribution of 14% of their salaries toward a state-protected pension. Not a bad deal. But, of course, it's all for the students.

As the district and unions once again negotiate increases, keep in mind that what they negotiate will end up on your property tax bill.

The district will be back for an operating levy, claiming that it is out of money. If the board negotiates on behalf of the taxpayers, the district could reasonably delay its next levy until 2009.

If, instead, the district and unions carve up the carryover balance, the district will be back earlier - either this year or next year. At that time, the district and unions will state that the levy is needed since it’s all for the students.

No, the levy will be needed to continue funding board-approved tax transfers from property owners to unions. Not a penny of which is for the students.

Let's see what the board does over these next few months. Does it negotiate for the taxpayer or the unions?

Jim Fedako

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Meider and Reynolds believe that public education can't get any better than it is in OLSD. As such, I am inclined to believe that they view the exhorbitant increases in salary (twice the average of that found in the private sector) as justifiable against the high performance and return they percieve that we recieve from district teachers and administrators. If this is not the reason they roll over year-after-year then they're incompetent.

So, they're either completely divorced from reality, or they're incompetent--which is it?