PETER KATZ, JOHN BAILEY AND JIM BENEROFE AT 7:30
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ALTICE CABLEVISION CH. 76 IN WHITE PLAINS
AND LATER ON THE INTERNET
IN A REBROADCAST OF A VERY TIMELY PROGRAM
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THE UBER EFFECT IN THE COUNTY
AND WITH THE COUNTY DECISION ON ALLOWING UBER TO PICK UP IN THE COUNTY…WHAT THE STAKES ARE
WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. Special to WPCNR. June 21, 2017:
Acting Superintendent of Schools for the White Plains City School District, Dr. Howard Smith, (pictured above) asked by WPCNR how the district and the White Plains Teachers Association came together so quickly on this week’s just-approved contract for two years through June 30, 2019, issued this statement on the contract that was teacher approved by a 411 to 60 (87% in favor) Tuesday:
WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. From the White Plains Teachers Association. June 20, 2017:
Kerry Broderick, President of the Teachers’ union of the White Plains School District reports to WPCNR this evening:
“The WPTA membership ratified the (Board of Education) memorandum of agreement today (411-60). I am grateful to the membership for their confidence in the settlement. It is a settlement that addresses the concerns and needs of the the WPTA membership and the district, the board and the community.”
The contract approved in voting that began Tuesday afternoon at 4 approved the following arrangements:
The contract is a 2-year contract beginning in 10 days, July 1, 2017. It increases all Step Salary levels 1% and in addition elevates all present teaching staff to the next step level, in their next year.
New teachers beginning July 1st will receive the 1% increase applied across all 20 Step levels. This raises the salary of a 1st year teacher with a Bachelor of Arts to $56,161 (from $55,605,currently).
Teachers already on staff today will receive 3 to 5% more salary next year, because their status will be raised one step above what they would be eligible for in the previous contract. They get a year’s increase in step pay which they would not have gotten until next year under the previous contract.
The contract increases teachers’ payments of their health insurance portion .75% the next two years from 13.5% this year to 14% beginning July 1, and 14.25%, July 1, 2018.
Asked if pensions were affected by the advancement in the step status of present staff, Dr. Smith explained to WPCNR they were:
“Pensions are determined by a formula based on years of service at the time of retirement in a position covered by the State Retirement System and an average of highest salaries earned by the retiring teacher during their service. So a teacher’s future pension will increase as a result of step movement on the salary schedule in 2017-18 representing both another year of service and a higher salary.”
The contract increases teachers’ payments of their health insurance portion .75% from 13.5% this year to 14% beginning July 1, and 14.25%, July 1, 2018.
The cost for the portion of payment a family health plan the teachers are responsible for is $3,458 , s single plan is $1,544, beginning July 1. On July 1, 2018, those costs go up to $3,672 and $1,639. These shares of currently on staff teachers paying the cost of their health insurance are partially and sometimes completely covered by the effects of the automatic step to the next increased step level they will be receiving, a level of salary they would not have been eligible for until July 1, 2018.
The contract gives them better compensation than if they chose to continue to work under the Triborough Agreement (in lieu of a contract in place).
One example: if you have a Master of Arts and are eligible for Step 2 salary, under the new Memorandum of agreement you receive $69,702 beginning July 1. If the Triborough plan is opted for (by rejection of the contract proposal), that M.A. would only receive $69,012. On July 1, 2018, that MA now at Step 2, would be more ahead, because they would receive $73,111 compared to $71,671 under the Triborough agreement.
The holder of a Masters of Arts now on staff who would reach Step 4 as of July1, 2018 is $2,130 ahead of what they would receive if the Teachers Union votes to turn down the Memorandum of Agreement The presently on-staff teachers receive approximately the salary increase equivalent of one year more of service under the former contract.
WPCNR PLAYLAND GO-ROUND. From County Legislator Catherine Park. June 19, 2017:
Legislator Catherine Parker (D-Rye) is pleased to announce tonight passage of an Act which will authorize work to rehabilitate the historic pool at Playland Park. The Act, which has a cost of nearly $9.5M, passed with a 15 to 2 vote. When completed, the residents of the Sound Shore will continue to have the public pool that they have had since 1927.
“During the long process to get to this point I made clear that due to costs, a public amenity such as Playland Pool could never be replaced by high priced private club memberships,” said Parker. “Furthermore, I heard from countless residents & local officials about the serious concerns they had with the any alternative options to the pool.”
The issues most concerning residents were quality of life related such as noise, litter, and rowdiness close to a quiet neighborhood as well as the concern that a new restaurant would detract from efforts made at Rye Town Park with their new restaurant.
“We were very pleased with Standard Amusements’ understanding of the importance of this pool, and importance of keeping it a pool, to the surrounding communities,” added Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining). “I look forward to working with Standard as we continue our partnership at Playland.”
Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson), Chair of the Committee on Infrastructure, expressed her excitement to get this project going. “The Astorino Administration has long stalled on the work needed at Sprain Ridge Pool, making the rehabilitation of Playland Pool all the more important. Westchester residents pay taxes and expect adequate services in return, I am thankful that we can finally get to work on this long debated but always needed undertaking.”
“I commend my colleagues on the Board and Standard Amusements for their dedication to this piece of Playland history,” concluded Parker.
WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Department of Communications. June 19, 2017:
County Executive Robert P. Astorino, joined by leaders of more than 40 municipalities throughout Westchester County, came together yesterday with a shared goal of lowering property taxes.
The Shared Service Forum, which was chaired by Astorino and included representatives from nearly all of Westchester County’s municipalities, discussed ways that local governments can cut costs and pass on savings to taxpayers, notably through sharing services and lobbying the state to stop passing down their costs.
“Lowering taxes must be a priority in Westchester County and throughout New York State,” Astorino said. “In Westchester County, we’ve held the line on spending with our $1.8 billion budget. Since taking office seven years ago, we’ve either lowered the property tax levy or kept it level. And I am again committed to a budget for 2018 that doesn’t raise taxes. Residents can’t afford higher taxes. So it’s critical that we all work together to find savings to pass on to taxpayers.”
During his remarks, the County Executive cited how the county’s property levy is actually 2 percent lower than when he took office and discussed a number of other ways the county has been sharing services in recent years with localities, such as consolidating village police departments with the county, providing specialized police units to cities and towns in need, and utilizing the county’s planning and land use experts to develop a master plan for the Village of Rye Brook.
The daunting challenge, he added, were federal and state mandates totaling $1.35 billion that are forced on the county and account for 75 cents out of every dollar spent in the county’s 2017 $1.8 billion budget. The largest state mandate, for example, is Medicaid and costs Westchester taxpayers $210 million. New York is one of the few states that forces counties to pay part of that bill. Other mandates include pensions, child welfare, probation, public assistance and special education, among others.
Westchester County in 2013 created its Shared Services Handbook, a guide for local communities on how the county can help lower the costs for local governments. The state’s Shared Services Initiative, which was included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2018 state budget, mandates that 57 counties throughout New York State (New York City is excluded) establish a Shared Services Panel that will come up with ways for governments to share and coordinate services.
Thursday’s meeting was the first in a series of meetings that the Shared Services Panel in Westchester will conduct until Sept. 15, 2017 when the panel is required to vote on a plan. County Executive Astorino and municipal officials will be compiling a report on services already being shared as well as working on new initiatives to save taxpayer money.
“The best way to reduce taxes is by growing the economy, controlling costs and eliminating burdensome mandates.” Astorino said. “Sharing services is part of a broader strategy aimed at protecting taxpayers.”
THE WHITE PLAINS TEACHERS NEW 2 YEAR CONTRACT
THE BATTLING ROBOCALLS ON THE MAYORAL RACE
SCAMS AND CRIMES AGAINST THE ELDERLY TO WATCH FOR
TRUMP THE PRESIDENT– THE EXCLUSIVE WEEKLY REPORT
ROB ASTORINO TRIES TO BELL THE CATS–CREATING A COUNTY SHARED-SERVICES PLAN FOR THE GOVERNOR
AND ON THE INTERNET
16 YEARS WESTCHESTER’S MOST RESPECTED NEWS PROGRAM
LAST WEEK WHITE PLAINS HOSPITAL SALUTED OVER 200 CANCER SURVIVORS IT HAS HELPED BECOME CANCER FREE
IN A “PEOPLE TO BE HEARD”
REBROADCAST, JOHN BAILEY INTERVIEWS
SHE TAKES YOU ON A TOUR OF THE
WHITE PLAINS CANCER CARE CENTER
SEE IT INSTANTLY ON
WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. By John F. Bailey. June 12, 2017:
The head of the White Plains Teachers Association issued this statement today on the Board of Education approval of the Memorandum of Agreement the Board approved last night on the proposed new contract with the Teachers.
“The agreement is the product of good conversation of the needs and parameters of both the district and the teachers. It is a fair contract.”
WPCNR, asked if the Step Level increases, and automatic extra year of service added for existing 1st year, 2nd and 3rd year teachers affected tenure. She said the step level upgrade did not:
“Contract negotiations have no relationship with tenure. Tenure is a state law and is about being granted due process rights.”
On the effect of the salary negotiations on pensions, Ms. Broderick explained:
“In order for a teacher to retire with full pension benefits, they must have a minimum of 30 years of service at 55. Should a person retire with fewer than 30 years, there is a substantial penalty on the pension payout. Once a teacher reaches 62, the penalty on the pension is lifted as the payout is determined by years of service. The payout is determined by your Final average salary (your final 3 years or your highest 5 years), your age, and years of service (2% per year of service to a max of 60% of salary. Tier 5 and Tier 6 are much less. You can look at NYSTRS.org for more information.”
Only the salary portion of our contract negotiations impacts our pension.”