With school budget season in full swing for the locals have taken aim at teacher contracts, voicing their displeasure with what they refer to as exorbitant pay increases.
One voice leading the charge during last Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting was former board member Neil Carlin, who said the district must to create change with teacher contracts.
"In the last 12 months the district has seen a lot of change ... we've seen change in the state aid formulas, we've seen change in tax cap calculation and the implementation of a tax levy cap, we've seen change to our program, the closing of a school," Carlin said. "Where I do not see change is line 2110 ... line 2110 is the teaching salaries regular school."
The line Carlin was referring to was presented Feb. 1 during a Business Affairs Committee presentation.
In line 2110, the district shows the salaries of the teachers in the adopted 2012 budget at $57,716,277. For the proposed 2012-13 budget the salaries are at $61,121,405, a 5.9 percent increase.
The total change in the general fund from the 2011-12 adopted budget to the proposed budget for this year is 3.66 percent – $113,946,750 in the adopted 2011-12 budget to $118,116,240 in the proposed 2012-13 budget.
The district is also looking to close a gap of $11,025,000, according to the Feb. 1 document presented at the meeting.
“Virtually all of the tax increase is going towards salaries at 5.9 percent,” Carlin said. “It leaves zero increase for pensions, teachers retirement system, employee retirement system.
“We currently have the highest steps in all of Suffolk County. We need change.”
Following Carlin at the podium was local Robert Foster, who suggested the district “shake up” the teachers’ union.
“A little bit of news about the Commack districts, they just sent out 100 pink slips … if you want to shake up a union, send out pink slips,” he said.
that the proposed $170 million 2012-13 budget that officials are considering laying off 40 to 60 teachers, one administrator, two secretaries, six custodians. The cuts would result in an additional $700,000 in savings.
While certain budget numbers have been released the actual proposed budget from the district for the 2012-13 year has not – another concern that has been expressed by locals.
The Smithtown Central School District has not released its proposed budget while neighboring districts such as the , the, the and the , all have.
The district will hold its next community budget information meeting on Apr. 4.