Editorials published by the Goffstown Residents
Association are written by various members and
contributing non-members of the GRA.

January 8, 2010
School Board uses CBAs as an excuse

On Monday January 4th, I watched the Goffstown School Board talk about the recent reductions to the school budget by the Budget Committee.  The focus of the discussion were two reductions to SAU lines.  One was a reduction of $129,000 for "SAU Management Services" and the other was $300,000 from the "School Administrative Services" budget.  That's a total of $429,000 from their asking price of over $36 million.

What did they do?  Not only did they complain, they said it couldn't be done because of contractual obligations!

I know the voters approved the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) we're now stuck with a few years ago.  But times were good back then.  They aren't anymore.  

And what's worse is that chairman Keith Allard said the reductions couldn't be met because of those CBAs, so the reductions would have to come by laying off teachers, eliminating fields trips, yada, yada, yada.

Well I say hogwash!  There's a very easy way to cut that money from the top-heavy SAU administration budgets and still meet the contractual obligations of the CBA.

And that is simply to reduce the SAU staff.

How many assistant bookkeepers do they need?  How many assistant secretaries and accounting clerks do they need?  Did you know that in addition to superintendent Stacy Buckley's six-figure salary (which doesn't include benefits), we're also paying for two assistant superintendents?  Those two positions alone, with salary and generous benefits, are costing us over $200,000 !

But instead of cutting administration costs by reducing staff, Allard and the rest of the school board would rather lay of teachers!

Looks to me like the concerns the school board supposedly has for our children again takes a back seat to keeping their own puffed-up administration in place.

Here's another idea.  Instead of using these CBAs as an excuse to keep spending and spending, maybe we should all take note of what Ronald Reagan did with the air traffic controllers.  When the union refused to budge, he fired them all then rehired those who wanted to come back as non-union employees.  We could do the same, only I wouldn't rehire our school administrative people - instead, I'd replace them.

There are a few of these school board members coming up for re-election in March. It's time to clean house and get a fresh bunch of folks on that board who understand that Goffstown cannot afford their business as usual budgets.




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