Oswego School Board Approves Contract Extension With Teachers’ Union

OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego Board of Education on Wednesday approved a contract extension with the OCTA (teachers’ union).

The new deal calls for a 1.75% raise for 2102-2013.

Then there are 2 percent hikes for 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and for 2015-2016.

“I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep last night. It was a restless night. Voting on this contract at this time when we’re trying to approve a budget … I think the timing is terrible,” board vice president Sam Tripp said. “We’re laying off people, the taxpayers of this city have gotten a huge increase (in city taxes), water bills are out of sight. The timing is just lousy in my eyes.”

“A big part of this agreement deals with language to incorporate the district’s teaching assistants into the contract. They were brought into the OCTA from CSEA through a PERB decision back in 2008/2009,” according to Roger Sprague of OCTA. “The agreement also includes a revamped health insurance plan, which is in place across all bargaining units and comes at a substantial cost savings for the district. This is part of the agreement via a MOA (memorandum of agreement) signed by Bill Crist and myself at the early stages of negotiations process.”

The vote was 6-0-1 with member John Dunsmoor absent.


  1. How can the board approve a teacher raise for last year’s academic year (2012-2013), and then another raise for this academic year (2013-2014) and then two more subsequent year raises when they just cut 25 positions and the BUC school AND are asking for a 4% tax hike from us taxpayers? And does a budget of $79,900,000.00 (yep, that’s 79.9 in millions!) for only 4,000 students even sound realistic? That comes out to about $20,000 per student per year yet Oswego has a low graduation rate, low test scores, high drop out rate and overall low student morale. Not a very smart return on the investment. Sad state of affairs.

  2. Mr. Tripp is not happy because it is getting voted on now, but teachers have had no working contract since the 2011-12 school year. He should have worked to get one put together back before now! Teachers deserve a raise just like every other working individual in the country who gets a raise as well. Teachers pay taxes, water bills, mortgages, etc. as well. Their bills go up every year as well. Think about it! Teacher’s make far less than several other professions yet no one wants to pay them. Go to college and get an education instead of sitting home bashing teachers and writing incomplete sentences.

  3. In the last contract for OCTA they received a 22% raise. This one is only at 8% which is better but the last contract was obscene and gluttonous. A multi-year wage freeze would have been justified given the monstrosity that the taxpayers had to pay for in the last go-around.

    Stu states that everyone else across the country gets raises but this is simply not the case and is obviously spoken by a school teacher who does not understand the “real world”.

    Whether or not teachers make less than other professionals is debatable but what is not up for debate is the fact that public school teachers work significantly less days throughout the course of a year. A $52,000 STARTING salary for someone to work 180 days a year fresh out of college? Of course, in order to be hired for this you need to be the relative of someone already within the school district. But that is a whole lot of money for a short year…the OCTA members also contribute very little to their own health care plan as well. Most of the bill is footed by the taxpayers.

  4. For that matter, how much could they have shaved off of the 4% tax hike if they did not include a retroactive 3.785% raise for the school teachers? The school board is again choosing OCTA over its taxpayers. The bad deed has been done and the taxpayers are now locked into even higher salaries, but I will certainly vote NO on the school budget. There is no way to justify asking taxpayers for a tax increase so that we can give raises to teachers. Unbelievable.

  5. Jerry you are correct that teachers do not work as many “days” as other professions, but beyond the normal “8 hour” work day teachers work at home, need to take professional development classes, and work far more than yout hink. Let’s think about the average classroom, 20 students, 7 hours a day, say if teachers were babysitters they got paid $3 an hour, that’s $420 a day. Do you think teachers should be treated like babysitters then? They would make much more money than they do now. What is your profession? Do you have one?

  6. I understand that, Stu, which is why I did not call out the hours worked, but, you do not understand the other side of the coin in the private sector. You will rarely run into private sector professionals who only work 8 hours per day. Nor will you find private sector professionals who have such a cushy health care plan as the public employee unions. We are also not afforded 10 days of sick time per year to roll over. Add it up through the course of a year and public school teachers work significantly fewer hours. In a global economy, private sector companies are doing more with less, and it is squeezing the benefits out of their employees. Meanwhile we still need to take home what our pay is and then pay huge taxes. An 80 million dollar budget for less than 4,000 students. Only ten years ago this school district had a ~53 million dollar budget for closer to 5,000 students.

    If the truth be told I do not know how much time teachers spend working outside of their work day. But, what I do know is that their contract only requires their bodies to be in those buildings for 7 hours per day and of that they are only required to teach for 3 hours and 35 minutes per day. One year, the OCTA members were required to teach 1 additional period or a total of 4 hours and 18 minutes. This was grieved but is an extremely reasonable way to make our schools more effective and stop pillaging from the taxpayers.

    Yes, I have a profession in finance.

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