To The Daily Sun:
An interesting "tidbit" that came to light during discussions about the proposed multi-year agreement with the Gilford school teachers: It turns out that the lead negotiator on the School Board representing the taxpayers also happens to be the mother of one of the school teachers.
I try to be honest and impartial in all of my dealings, but I am not sure that I could represent the taxpayers at the expense of my family, and therefore, I trust I would not allow myself to be put in such a position.
That being said, one of the primary issues included in the proposed multi-year agreement, is the following:
1. The first year, the teachers will continue paying 5 percent of their insurance premiums.
2. The second year, they will raise the teachers' portion to 7 percent.
3. The third year, they will be paying 10 percent of their premiums.
It appears that we pay 95 percent of their premiums when they only work 75 percent of the year. How about a 75/25 percent ratio?
Of course, the argument has been that if we consider such a thing, the good teachers will go elsewhere.
Well, I got some interesting information from New Hampshire Department of Education concerning teachers' average salary in public school districts. There are 161 districts. Of them, 38 districts pay a higher average than Gilford district, and 122 pay less. They also list the number of teachers that are in each district, so I wondered how many actual teachers average more than Gilford teachers. There are 110 teachers in Gilford. There are 3,333 teachers that average more than our teachers' salaries and there are 10,686 teachers that average less.
"Their" theory is that teachers will leave us if we don't beef up compensation. If this is true, one could conclude that there would be 10,686 teachers beating our doors down for these 110 positions, and we could take the top 1 percent of educators and fill all the positions that we now have.
The above opinion is based on "salaries" only. The real "money leak" that we have, is in the benefits package.
Based on the above and barring any new information, I will be voting "NO" on Article 3 multi-year agreement.
Harry H. Bean
Gilford Budget Committee member
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