I wanted to share this since the information in the override is so unclear. Below is the median average of what each position in the school makes.
Pre-School Teacher 35,460
Kindergarden Teacher 67,640
Elementary School Teacher-71,380
Middle School Teacher 71,400
High School Teacher 73,090
PE Teacher- 44,140
Special Ed Kindergarden to Elementary 35,200-95,730
Special Ed Middle School- 65,730
Special Ed High School 69,040
School Administrators 102,960
Guidance and School Counselors 63,260
The Bureau lists comparable towns like Stoneham and right in line. Also the salaries are more than half of a joint household income in Melrose. Remember these numbers continue to rise as the union negotiates a cost of living increase and with steps and lanes.
It is hard to determine private sector average salaries. From combining numbers from various sites it is 41,600. Private sector insurance costs are for the most part much higher with a very much lower increase in wages. Everyone has a right to live and now add another 585 a year when most people do not get anywhere near these salaries nor do they receive increases to help off set the 585 being presented in the override.
That’s wild that teachers make more than firefighters and cops . Summers off, holidays off, nights off, weekends off. Sounds like a pretty good gig.
With two pay increases, the one from the union and the one from steps and lanes. Six day work weeks for me, mandatory overtime, extra work in the summers. The average household joint income is about 88k, so some lets look at that. Tell me where a 6% increase is needed. the problem is elsewhere. Principals will be getting roughly a 6,000 buck raise..What are you getting?
Under the current contract teachers are only required to be at the school outside of regular work hours for a total of 27 hours. Under the previous agreement that number was 40hrs. Please explain the statistics that teachers are leaving the Melrose school district at higher rate than average across the state. According to the DOE website Melrose retention rate is slightly above state average.
Average teacher pay is simply not an apple to apple comparison for compensation when you factor in that 30% of the teachers retired a few years ago according to the superintendent. The step to compare is the masters line. According to superintendent, last time they negotiated they were just below the average. Furthermore, Melrose currently pays 84% of the health insurance for its employees. Other comparable towns pay considerably less
The 6% raise, which is what the 1.85 million represents in fiscal 2020 is so far out of the main stream what the working people in the private sector get. Teachers getting 6% across the board increase plus their steps and lanes. The majority of Melrosians could only dream of such increase.
June 2003 override was defeated by a 70-30 Margin. November 2015 override defeated 67%-33%. Based upon the current pulse of the city the override will probably be defeated by at least the same margin if not more .
And let's also consider the broader financial picture. In the last 2.5 months, my retirement account has gone from an 8% gain to a 3% loss. That's an entire year of contributions that I might as well have thrown out a window.
The economy is slowing, the market is in turmoil and heading for a "correction", and some pundits have predicted a slowdown so severe that it threatens recession. Interest rates will rise, even further tightening the noose around our necks. From that perspective, they could not have picked a worse time to ask for another override.
I think we all know who's most responsible for this downturn, but that's an argument for another time. The issue locally is "now what"? The first step to "now what" is maximizing your available resources, and that takes the kind of courage our local officials have demonstrated repeatedly that they don't have.
" No one, and I mean NO ONE has the courage to step up to the plate and address the real issue, which is wasted money. "
Well, actually, that's not true. CKK did exactly that, and articulated publicly in print (newspapers, etc.) and in person during public meetings for six years where the potential problems and waste was (and still is). She repeatedly put herself on the line and started at the source and worked her way up every ladder of obstruction (all the way to the state and federal levels) to get at and speak openly about the issues. There is an extensive public record still available online about every one of these strands relating to each issue under school committee oversight (meaning, basically the whole tamale--budget, policy, superintendent hiring/evaluation, etc.). Citizens can still access all that information (she only stepped down in 2016, and the issues are the same but worse now). If taxpayers want to do their own due diligence, it's all right there. Gerry Mroz does this every single week. Listen to what he's saying and all that he's brought before both the SC and BOA, in person, in writing, in actions (public records requests, written statements, etc.). Mr. M's bills have come before the state house, some even being approved, while Melrose citizens continue to feel it's okay to dismiss and disrespect this selfless advocate for our greater good. Phil Taymore did it over and over again re the water and sewer issues. His statements were part of the public record and quite articulately lay out some of the core issues. Take five minutes of time and find out for yourself. Monica faithfully does her best to ask the hard questions and talk about her concerns, big picture and little picture, including and especially where taxpayer dollars are being potentially misused and where the rest of the BOA and certainly the administration are actively working to conceal the truth, over and over again. Citizens have a choice: believe the paid propaganda company (Guilfoyl $900+ per month from the SCHOOL budget!) or look at the real information that has always been there, despite the massive conspiracy to conceal the truth that the majority of Melrose pols and officials have perpetrated for years. So far Melrosians seem to prefer (quite strenuously) the spinmeister version of the truth rather than the actual stuff. Would love to be proved wrong on this! Go for it!
An earlier poster mentioned that "No offense but the teachers have cost the town millions in lawsuits". This is actually not the case. It is administrator misconduct (principals, assistant super, superintendent, school committee and city hall solicitor's office) that's costing the city millions in legal fees, lawsuits and settlements, many which end in $60,000 per year student outplacements and financial settlements. Sure, teachers sometimes do stupid things, but if these administrators and city attorneys would do the right thing instead of unlawfully attacking the accusers, 98 percent of the teacher misconduct issues could be resolved at the district level. A perfect example was the civil rights investigation and resulting resolution agreement. OCR was most concerned with the clear pattern of administrator retaliation and coverups they found while reviewing victim complaints.
Why is the city paying 84% of the health insurance for its employees? Surrounding communities pay considerably less:
North Reading 70%
In addition to a 6% raise starting in Fiscal 2020 If override passes, Melrose already contributes a much larger share toward employee health insurance. Wake up Melrose!!!!
It's the deal the City made with the unions so that the unions would accept a wage freeze and agree to the City's joining the GIC. That actually worked out fairly well for the City. I have much less of an issue with that than I do with part-time employees getting full-time health care, and for life if they retire after 10 years.
I understand your point, though. Those are exactly the kinds of questions that ought to be asked across the board.
I was reading about the insurances as well. That is valuable information but when the Union negotiated they still ensured a long line of increases. The insurance is an IMPORTANT issue. Private sectors are crucified by insurance. These questions were asked and this information was presented but with . really nothing concrete in return. It is a negotiation so i agree if we gave extra for insurance and had a pay freeze that makes sense. But lately there is no negotiating ,it is here you go. I really do not want to sound like a lot of people out there but when solid information like this is presented the "Do it for the kids" stuff comes up. It is a bit frustrating. The information really does point to NO. I feel the picture is larger than it appears and there are other issues we must consider too. The Police Department is horrible. Fire Department. I am not saying give all the money but we cannot forget about them. We just had a tax increase i read about in the Ledger of $175 so if the override passes I will be up $760 in a single year. That hurts my household as my high deductible insurance plan also went up.
The library was a large topic for money, if we move on to that to quickly then I have no idea what I will do.
Last point, the Elderly communities on fixed incomes, are we really going to neglect them and the disabled. We can't, not morally.
Great information! Thank you.
Preschool Teacher $35,460
Kindergarten Teacher $67,640
Elementary School Teacher $71,380
Middle School Teacher $71,400
High School Teacher $73,090
PE Teacher $44,140
Substitute Teacher (Hourly) $16.84/hr
Teaching Assistant $30,090
Sorry for scattering these. It has taken a bit of time and work to get it all together but another comparable school system. Melrose stays right with them with better testing results.
A little clarification - the City joined GIC in 2008, and in the first year alone saved over $1,200,000.00 in premium costs. Prior to that, the City paid 82% of far more expensive plans like HMO Blue, so what the City pays now is actually less than what they paid prior to that. Now add in the wage freeze, which is sort of an override in reverse. That 0% year carries over into every following year, just as an override does, saving the City millions more every year.
Interesting sidebar - it took a 70% approval vote from the unions for the City to implement GIC. Of course, being the largest union, it was the teacher's union that sort of drove that, but three organizations did vote against it, both Police unions and the retirees. That's one of the reasons Dolan hated the Police. It wasn't long after that that he initiated that ill-fated (from his perspective) police study, and then that cockamamie overtime abuse allegation was made, which proved to be totally untrue. Both of those things made him hate the Police even more because they made him look really bad by exposing his truly petty and vindictive nature.
Which brings us to the so-called "public safety" plan. There has never been and there is not now any serious consideration of a new police station. It was and still is a smoke screen, cynically designed to garner support for the last, and now this override. It may happen at some point down the road, but as long as Dolan was Mayor, it was political bull$hit, and with the current Mayor, nothing has changed.
Correction - there were five groups (of thirteen) who voted against GIC, including both police unions and retirees, and two much smaller unions that I forgot about.
The GIC was first entered into in 2009 and saved over a million dollars. However, that was almost 10 years ago!. The city renewed for six years in July 2015. Raises have not been zero since 2015.So the city is paying at least 84% until 2021. This is absurd and not sustainable. When we look at things like teacher pay , we need to consider the entire benefit packages. We are paying 84% and Reading is paying 71%. Other communities are enrolled in GIC and pay considerably less toward their employee health insurance. Wake up Melrose!! Follow the money!! The propaganda nonsense being spewed by our unelected mayor and the Teacher’s union is laughable. Our teacher retentionRate according to the DOE web site is slightly above state average.
Also, let’s look a the steps and lanes salary levels for teachers for comparable towns such as reading and Stoneham at the M-30 level. We are basically at the same amount. The reason why the “average is lower” is because Melrose had a wave of retirement a few years back according to the superintendent. As a result 30 percent of teachers are in the first three years and 70 percent have been their less than 10 years.The suggestion they leave at a higher rate than state averages after a few years is nonsense. Again, look at the steps and lanes increases for comparable communities and then add in the overly generous health care contributions. Not sure why Yes supporters continue to use the same scare tactics playbook that the hard working people of Melrose see right through. We may have different actors in 2018 but we have seen this movie before in 2003 & 2015.
First of all, I'm not advocating a 6% raise. That's obviously ridiculous, but you're missing the point about the City paying 84% of the premiums. Yes, the City is paying that 84% until at least 2015, but that $1,200,000.00 wasn't just saved in the first year of GIC, but every year thereafter. In order to save that money, the City agreed to raise the premium share from 82% to 84%. That was a great deal for the City - saving more than $12,000.000.00 over 10 years for a 2% rise in the premium share. That 2% cost was totally negated during that time by the year of wage freeze, which also carries over year to year. Additionally, employees didn't actually save that 2%, because the co-pays for GIC are much higher.
I don't know what part of that you are missing. Maybe you're not considering how compounding plays into it. The real health care budget buster is the $18,000.00 a year it costs the City to cover part-time employees/retirees, especially those that retire after only ten years. Most of those positions are pure political patronage. It's not the 2% rise to 84% that's breaking the bank. That 2% is actually revenue/expenditure neutral city wide given the compounding of that one year of 0% raises.
As for the teacher steps and lanes, the same principle applies. Every percentage the base is raised also affects the dollar value of each step and lane because those percentages are based on the base rate each teacher is at at that time. So, for example, a 2% raise in the base is actually quite a bit larger than 2% if you factor in steps, lanes, and stipends. Remember a few years ago when the teachers got that enormous raise that Dolan claimed was only 1%?
I completely agree with you about Taymore cherry picking stats to give the impression salaries are "lower". You are spot on in your assertion that it's because a higher percentage of teachers are on the low end of the scales. I actually did think Melrose teachers left at a higher percentage than average, but your figures disprove that. I thought, and still think that it has more to do with the environment than the pay rates. I'm not a teacher, but I wouldn't work in that system no matter what the rates were. It's toxic.
"Our teacher retentionRate according to the DOE web site is slightly above state average."
The only administrators and teachers who stay in the system now under this demoralizing, utterly nasty, and incompetent administration are those who truly cannot get another job despite constantly applying (like White-L who is always, as in ALWAYS, applying for other jobs and getting rejected!). The retention rate is therefore very misleading. Generally educators here are not staying here because they want to, but rather because they have no other options. They are quite literally the bottom of the barrel.
That's a very good point. And yet we lose principals at what I think is an astounding rate. How is it that Corduck was able to slide over to Lexington so easily? Her rise through the Melrose system strikes me as meteoric. What am I missing here?
Sad to say but we are stuck with Taymore and Lambright for a while. Just google their names before "civil rights" and you'll see why. No school committee would ever hire such a potential liability to run their schools: Except the Melrose school committee members.
As someone in the know in Malden, I can say that both the super and her imported right-hand MA were considered blights and liabilities in that district, leaving behind an extensive legacy of lawsuits and legal actions that were costly and unnecessary, arising directly out of their incompetence and attitudes of arrogance and contempt. In fact the Malden district flat out rejected CT's attempt to advance to ASSISTANT super, and we made that call based on facts and a truly negative history that cost vulnerable students and certainly taxpayers. We urged the only one in your city who'd listen to consider this, and she made an articulate case for why that super should not have been hired and why the impressively qualified other finalist (with a legitimate academic ph.D and actual experience as a sitting superintendent) was the only logical choice.
Instead of listening to facts and choosing the other totally qualified and distinguished candidate, the SC opted to bulldoze CT through with its cheerleading squad of virulent (ignorant) parents and their scripted talking points (led by law-breaking chair and vice chair of SC, along with mayor, who should have had nothing whatsoever to do with the matter). Watching the proceedings intently we were quite astonished to see that not only did they hire the grossly unqualified finalist, who then hired MA immediately (and at ridiculous unjustified salaries), the SC did this via a process that was as vile as the person they chose. Reading the public accounts of all the legal challenges to the process and hearing what transpired, it painted a clear picture of comprehensive corruption and abuse, starting with how the selection committee was gerryrigged around the rules/policies/laws and then having the incompetent mayor-appointed city solicitor there to lend an appearance (false) of legality to the whole thing. At every stage the one individual stood up and tried to represent to the public she served with distinction what was happening, meeting with continuous obfuscation and contempt by the rest of the committee, city solicitor, mayor. It was quite something to watch, and we wondered where in the dickens the public was that they weren't in there at every meeting raising the stink that surely would have occurred in most other places. The rest of the SC (and the ever-slumbering BOA who should have raised big questions, especially about the money and the legal bills being created at every turn) seemed to have forgotten they represent the public, and that is obviously still in evidence with the continuing contempt and arrogance both the SC and BOA show to your city residents.
Now we see some of the same virulent, ignorant characters back in front of the public, with their newly scripted talking points, trying to cram yet another money (and power) grab down the throats of the residents. Even the newly elected ones are reflecting the same contempt for facts and legitimate process, opting for their snotty facial expressions and haughty rebuts when challenged with anyone from the public coming before them to ask for the truth and responsible accounting. The parent group seems even more misled, like wind-up toys, only with bad attitude. The fear-mongering by the officials seems to have worked so far, but hopefully the sensible ones will prevail again. You've got smart and articulate people there who are telling you the truth. How come so many choose to listen to the bobbleheads instead?
Maybe it's something in your water? Or is it the sewer that just keeps backing up?
I can't add one single thing to that.
Right??? So many conspiracy theorists here. SMH.