Amsterdam school leaders consent to pay freeze

As the Board of Education wrestles to cut a double-digit tax increase, the Greater Amsterdam Scho


As the Board of Education wrestles to cut a double-digit tax increase, the Greater Amsterdam School District’s highest-paid took a step toward helping out last week.

The Amsterdam School Administrator Association and 10 other non-union administrators agreed to a pay freeze for next year, and they will all sign onto a different, cheaper health-care plan.

Superintendent Thomas Perillo on Friday said he agreed to freeze his salary and change health insurance at the start of budget development, and the other administrators decided last week to follow suit.

The changes, which will reflect a savings of $210,000, affect a total of 24 people.

They include the 14 members of the ASAA, such as principals, and non-bargaining administrators, including the district business manger, administrative assistants and technicians, among others.

“I sat down with them and we talked about the difficult budget season. I had asked them to consider a salary freeze for a year and [the health insurance change],” Perillo said. “They agreed immediately.”

The district is chipping away at a roughly $58 million draft budget for the 2011-12 school year, which already comes in at lower than a contingency budget.

One scenario considered recently would bring a tax levy increase down to about 7 percent, but that would entail cutting about 69 jobs — 47 instructors and 22 support positions.

Perillo said he’s put the idea of pay freezes and other concessions out to the rest of the district’s staffing, including the teachers association and CSEA members who include clerical staff, aides and custodians.

The teachers association is considering the idea but there’s been no word back yet from the CSEA, he said.

If others agree to cost-saving contract changes, they may not lose as many co-workers when the next fiscal year begins.

“The hope is to restore positions,” Perillo said.

The Greater Amsterdam School District is scheduled to consider voting on a tentative budget on Wednesday.

Categories: Schenectady County

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