A northern Westchester County school district is considering an end to one of teachers’ top benefits: step raises for years of service and education, the Journal News said.
The concession by the union in the Bedford schools, a wealthy enclave, is viewed a major shift in negotiations between teachers and schools amid budget crunches around the state.
“Steps and lanes” will not be offered to new teachers in the Bedford schools if a tentative agreement is approved by the rank and file and the school board next month, the Journal News reported. The new teachers would be offered a “completely new compensation framework” determined by the tax-levy cap.
In a blog post today, the Empire Center for New York State Policy said the move could be a first move toward limiting the influence of the state’s Triborough Amendment—which lets expired union contracts continue until a new deal is reached. Because of step increases, critics says that there is little impetus for unions to reach to new labor deals.
“So, credit is due to the members of the teachers’ union and board of education in Bedford, who presumably have seen that this type of benefit places an undue and unsustainable burden on the school district and taxpayers,” according to Tim Hoefer, the center’s executive director.