Weekly Feature



2012-04-04 / Letters to the Editor

Wage ‘freeze’ not permanent solution

If your spouse came home from work announcing that he or she would be subject to a three-year wage freeze, what do you suppose this would mean? A reasonable person would assume that he/she would see no increase in compensation for three years. Would you expect that any previously decided upon raise schedule would stay in place but not grow? Of course not.

This wage freeze in the private sector would mean no raises for three years. At the last School Board meeting, we were told that the Clarence Teachers Association accepted a “freeze” on the salary schedule. Upon investigation, we found this to mean that the current step increase schedule stays in place — with no additional monies added to the steps. Teachers will continue to get step increases as defined by the 2011-12 contract and will move up in steps according to schedule.

We were also told that stipends for extra activities were “frozen” at 2011-12 levels for the three-year contract. The word “freeze” is disingenuous. Why not simply tell us that the contract stayed the same in regard to step increases and stipends? The only real difference in pay is that teachers agreed to accept half the incremental step increase in the first contract year — a step in the right direction.

This concession stabilized the school budget for 2012-13 but is not enough to control the growth of expenses in subsequent years. As a result, taxpayers can expect a similar “budget crisis” next year.

Marlese Wacek
East Amherst

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