F.U.S.E. Newsletter on New Rochelle School District Budget Cuts

Written By: Robert Cox

Budget Cuts/Staff Layoffs

There have been a lot of rumors about budget cuts and staff layoffs due to budget cuts. Some rumors are rooted in truth; others are way out in left field. Nonetheless, the fact is that the school district is facing a challenging economic situation this year. Significant reductions in state aid coupled with increases in retirement costs, utilities and contractual commitments have forced the Board to make difficult decisions when preparing the school district’s budget.

The proposed budget under review by the Board of Education includes a reduction in spending of approximately five million dollars from the current year’s budget. This reduction in spending necessarily means that there will be layoffs in staff since almost 72% of the budget’s expenditures are for salaries and benefits for employees.

The Board will vote on April 6 on the budget that will be presented to the voters for their approval on May 18. Once the Board adopts the budget, the exact numbers of layoffs will be known and members who will be affected by a layoff will be notified by the school district. The union will be working diligently with district administration to insure that any layoffs or transfers are done in accord with State Education law and/or our contract provisions governing seniority and job eliminations.

There have been no discussions with the district involving any “givebacks” or concessions from the current contract. It is the position of the union, which is shared by the administration, that the contract negotiated by the union last year included significant concessions(modest across the board increases to salaries and making the raises effective only in the second half of each school year) which were designed to allow the district to better weather the current economic crisis.

Any member with questions or concerns about the budget, layoffs or related issues can email or call the FUSE office for the most up-to-date information.

Proposed Amendment to the FUSE Constitution

A proposal to amend the FUSE Constitution was submitted by William Coleman at Trinity School, accompanied by a petition containing the signatures of twenty five (25) members on March 8, 2010. The proposed amendment is designed to change the way officers of the union are elected in the future.

Currently, all members – pedagogic and School Related Professionals – vote for all of the union’s elected officers. The change, if adopted, would limit voting for Vice Presidents to members of the chapters the Vice Presidents represent.

The proposed amendment is as follows:

The President, Executive Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer of the FUSE be elected by the vote of all members of the union.

The Vice President/Pedagogic and the Vice President/School Related Professionals be elected by the vote of members of the chapters which they would represent.

There will be a general membership meeting on April 12 at 4:30 at NRHS to discuss and vote on the proposed amendment. In order for a vote to take place, at least ten percent of the membership (approximately 130 people) would have to attend the meeting. If approved by two-thirds of the membership attending the meeting, this amendment would become effective immediately.

Officer Elections

2010 is on election year for the FUSE! All of the officers of the FUSE will be elected in May. The elected positions are: President, Executive Vice President, Secretory, Treasurer, Vice President/Pedagogic, Vice President/ School Related Professionals.

Any member wishing to be a candidate for any of the elected offices must submit a petition signed by 25 members to the FUSE office no later than April 30, 2010. In the event there are two or more candidates for a specific office, on election by ballot will be held sometime during the third week of May.

Dates to Remember

April 12, 2010
Scholarship Applications Due
General Membership Meeting (Proposed Constitutional Amendment)

April 22, 2010
FUSE Party at Beckwith Pointe

April 30, 2010
Petitions for Candidates for FUSE Officers Due

May 18, 2010
Budget Vote/School Board Election

June 1, 2010
Regular School Day – “Make Up Day” for March 15 closure

4 thoughts on “F.U.S.E. Newsletter on New Rochelle School District Budget Cuts”

  1. Smells Bad
    The President of FUSE is paid over $100,000 to teach one class a day at IYMS. The remainder of his time, over 80% of his day, is devoted to union activities at the expense of the taxpayers. I have negotiated many union contracts with unions and with management in over 20 years of doing labor & employment law. I have never seen such a cozy arrangement between union and management. It is management subsidizing the union(or vice a versa?). How can the Board of Education live with this? Is there any degree of impartiality here or does it just smell bad.

    1. Union President
      If the FUSE union president is not re-elected, will he have to teach a full courseload? In nearby municipalities — Larchmont, Pelham, Scarsdale, White Plains — does the union president have a similar financial arrangement whereby they teach one class and get paid by the public to advocate for the union? Just wondering.

      1. Really Smells Bad
        We are the ONLY community in Westchester with that kind of set-up. No other school pays it’s union president $100K to union work. What was the the Board lawyer thinking when he, alone, negotiated this?

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