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Email reveals education budgetary problems between mayor, city council and board of ed

Cross post from HatCityBLOG

City Council discussion on NEA teachers contract, Jan 2012

In advance of today’s education budget workshop meeting here’s an email Mayor Boughton sent to members of members of the city council, and School Superintendent Sal Pascarella and Kim Thompson, Director of Human Resources & Counsel to the Board of Education.

The letter is regards to confusion on the mayor’s part regarding salaries and health benefits figures within the recent teacher’s contract that was presented to the council earlier this month.

Mark Boughton m.boughton@XXXXXXX-XX.XXX

To: Sal, Kim, David, Joe, Jack, Colleen, Gregg, shaymonika, Phil, Andrew, Tom, Peter, Fred, me, Benjamin, Mary, Phil, Donald

Sal, Kim

I have just reviewed the proposed education budget. I am confused about the health benefits and salary adjustments line items. When I presented the new teachers contract to the City Council I shared with them your estimates for costs to the taxpayers.

Apparently I was either misinformed or there has been a problem with the estimates. It was relayed to me the costs for the contract for salary adjustments and benefits would be an additional $400,000 in year 1 and an additional $800,000 in year 2. Those are approximate numbers. Based on your spread sheet, you are showing a combined increase of almost $4 million dollars to just fund health care and raises for staff.

In fact when I questioned the salary adjustments, I was assured that changes to the health care plan would help offset the increases to salaries.

Needless to say given the current financial conditions of the city, I would not count on anywhere near the amount outlined in the budget and I would make preparations to explain how the contract cost escalated to almost 4 million dollars.

I guess the education budget fiasco is off and running…