Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C-Melrose) recently sent a letter to Richard Iannuzzi, President of the New York State United Teachers; Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers; and Governor Cuomo in hopes to work together to save teacher jobs in New York State. Emphasizing the importance of putting children first, McLaughlin said his proposal for a one-year salary freeze would save teacher jobs, keep class sizes down and divert resources back into the classroom.
ďLawmakers should not threaten our childrenís future by cutting jobs,Ē said McLaughlin. ďIím working to save teaching jobs, and Iíve asked Mr. Iannuzzi, Mr. Mulgrew, and Governor Cuomo to consider a proposal that would place a salary freeze on teachers statewide for this year only. Itís the appropriate move during these difficult economic times.Ē
ďIíve contacted school superintendents, teachers, and administrators throughout my district. There was not one person I spoke to that said they would be against a pay freeze if it meant saving the job of a fellow educator and friend. These teachers and education advocates fully understand our stateís dire fiscal situation and are willing to do their part. Iím asking stakeholders to join me today to help save the most important jobs in New York State.
ďI strongly believe that, if enacted, the salary freeze savings must be used to save teacher jobs; to be effective, school boards across New York must agree to use the savings exclusively to save teacher jobs.
Last month, Bethlehem school district announced that 26 administrators or managers are voluntarily giving up automatic pay increases for the 2011-2012 school year. The move was an effort to offset proposed state aid reductions contained within Governor Cuomoís Executive Budget. Soon after, McLaughlin publicly applauded this sacrifice because their decision showed how much the Bethlehem school district truly cares about the student body and the quality of the education its schools provide.
ďThese decisions are never easy, but with our childrenís education at stake itís an important step to take. Iím hopeful that other schools in our district and across the state will be encouraged by the leadership of the Bethlehem school district and find areas for responsible spending reductions and efficiencies while preserving a quality education for our children.
ďMy wife is an educator in the Lansingburgh school district. This proposal affects my family directly. Iíve also personally committed to giving 10 percent of my legislative salary back to the 108th Assembly District. Iíve stepped up to the plate for the families and taxpayers of my district, and Iím strongly asking each stakeholder to consider the same for the rest of our great state.Ē