Vote no on Milford teachers’ contract

To the Editor:

This is an open letter to all Milford taxpayers. It concerns the special School District warrant article for a new three-year teachers’ contract to be voted on Sept. 9.

The union is demanding a 5.5 percent increase in base salaries over the next three years. The first year’s additional cost (starting immediately) is $544,952, then $577,736 next year and $559,421 the third year. Consider this: the first increase of over half a million dollars becomes permanent, so that the next over-half-million dollar increase will be on top of the first $.5 million. Then on top of both of those increases will be the third half-million dollar increase the following year, and all of those increases will carry forward into eternity.

At the deliberative session, since these increases are actually compound percentages, not dollar amounts, it was noted the total increase over the three-year period will approach $3 million. This figure was confirmed by school officials at that session.

How many taxpayers are anticipating a 5.5 percent increase in income?

About three years ago, during the height of the recession, when many Milford taxpayers were hurting economically, the teachers’ unions were approached by three area towns, asking them to forego their contracted pay increase (about 3-4 percent) for that one year. The unions for two of the three towns agreed. But not Milford’s union. Their approach was “Oh no, we have a contract and you have to abide by it!”

This statement was acknowledged by the head of Milford’s teachers union, and her only defense was that the other three school unions refused to comply, so why pick on the teachers? (note: only two of the three other unions refused). What is this, kindergarten? If everybody else is doing it, why can’t we?

My thoughts were then, as they are now, that when that contract expired, and the teachers came back to the taxpayers for more, I would say “Truly, truly I say unto you, you already received your first year’s pay raise, back three years ago when Milford taxpayers were so hurting, and you refused to relent on your high increase then.” As for the following two years, come back at the appropriate time, in March, and we will vote future years’ raises then.

The Milford School Board and The Milford Budget Committee both unanimously rejected this contract. I hope all of you will on Sept. 9.

Steve Takacs