Block Island Times

School committee struggles with salaries, cuts

At the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, July 14, two forces collided: contractual salary obligations to teachers and finding a way to pay for those obligations without cutting such programs as sports. The committee is also facing the as yet unknown final cost of re-tooling the Block Island School’s physical layout and scheduling for when it reopens in the fall.
School Supt. Mike Convery said that, after the union representing school teachers rejected a Memorandum of Agreement that would have deferred pay increases for a year, he would make another attempt to reach an agreement with the union before the School Committee meets again Monday, July 20. If no agreement is reached, committee members said they would have to cut further into a budget that has been whittled away at since the budget process began several months ago. If the MOA is not agreed to, members said they would need to cut an additional $86,000 from the budget. (A total of $62,000 would be saved if the teachers accepted the freeze, Convery said.)
The original budget proposed a nine percent increase over last year’s appropriation, but that was cut back to a 3.2 percent increase by the School

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