One out of every five dollars spent by the city of Hartford goes to teacher salaries, as negotiated under the city’s 70-page union contract with the American Federation of Teachers. The agreement outlines in detail what teachers will get from the city – but reflects far less concern about what students will get from teachers. Last year the city of Hartford spent nearly $1 billion; more than half was dedicated to education. At $220 million, salaries are the largest portion of the education budget, with additional tens of millions of dollars spent on health insurance.
State employees who teach at Connecticut's colleges and universities won a unique opportunity in 2010: a partial escape from the effects of the Great Recession. The SEBAC ARP Grievance agreement specified that this was a one-time opportunity. However, Connecticut professors are still allowed to switch from the ARP to the state’s pension system because the IRS has not yet ruled the SAG award.
A Freedom of Information Commission hearing officer recommended Monday in a draft decision that the New Milford school system make teacher evaluation ratings public. John Spatola, a former member of the New Milford Board of Education, brought a complaint seeking the ratings. Although individual teacher ratings are exempt from disclosure, Spatola's complaint and the draft decision would set a precedent for aggregate information about teacher performance. JeanAnn Paddyfote, the New Milford superintendent at the time, refused to comply with Spatola's request for the information prompting the complaint.
At the Yankee Institute, we will stand alone when necessary, but this time lawmakers overwhelmingly joined our side. Last week, the Yankee Institute was the only group to submit written testimony opposing a controversial UConn union contract, and our Policy Director Suzanne Bates was the only person to testify against it in person.
We don’t get to say these words nearly enough, so we’re giving him a great big shout out: GOVERNOR MALLOY, YOU DID THE RIGHT THING. Yesterday the Malloy Administration told state agency leaders that the 3 percent pay raises nearly 2,000 non-union staff and political appointees expected to receive this Thursday have been cancelled.
As Connecticut faces fiscal challenges driven by the high cost of state employee pay and benefits, a state audit highlights the fact that the two largest income sources for Eastern Connecticut State University – tuition and state support – don't even cover compensation for its employees. In fiscal year 2013, ECSU took in $32.6 million from student tuition and paid nearly $76 million in employee pay and benefits. The university also received $40.5 million from state appropriations but could not bridge the gap between revenue and the costs of its mostly-union workforce.