South Huntington teachers have agreed to give back $2,300 each in salary next year, the president of their union said Thursday, even as district officials sounded less than enthused by the vote.
Teachers union president Dennis Callahan said plans to make a one-time cut in teachers pay "was approved overwhelmingly by my membership."
Callahan said the givebacks would save the district $1.2 million.
The move by the teachers comes ahead of the South Huntington School District's plan to adopt a final budget April 13.
District officials have been mulling a proposed $140.3-million budget for 2011-12 that represents a 1.36 percent increase from the current budget and carries the possibility of a 6.93 percent property-tax rate increase. That budget would cut middle school sports, three varsity high school teams and 62 jobs.
In a statement, district Superintendent Thomas Shea said the offer "is much too little and a little too late."
Shea said the givebacks came with conditions: no teacher layoffs, and teachers would be relieved of professional development training. Also, the $1.2-million savings would have to be used to restore the nine-day period day at the high school, something district officials said would be cut and along with it, its teachers. Callahan acknowledged those were the conditions set by the union.
"The proposal Mr. Callahan brought to the table is a thinly veiled attempt to save union jobs at taxpayer expense," Shea said. "He has known for the better part of a month where the BOE stood in what they were seeking," which was a salary freeze.
Average teacher salary in the district is $90,000 annually, district officials said.
The district's administratorsunion has approved a two-year salary freeze and additional contributions to their health insurance. The paraprofessionals have said they will not offer any givebacks this year because they did so gave one last year.