Hudson School Board wants wage and salary freezeWith the Hudson School District facing a potentially $2 million cut in revenue, the Board of Education is asking all employees to agree to a wage and salary freeze for the upcoming year.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
With the Hudson School District facing a potentially $2 million cut in revenue, the Board of Education is asking all employees to agree to a wage and salary freeze for the upcoming year.
The board also voted to make a series of cuts in programs and operations valued at about $1.2 million and staff cuts of around $200,000. The staff cuts include reductions in hours for custodians, contract days for counselors, secretarial assistants and one full-time teacher at the high school. In order to meet contractual requirements, any staff represented by a union is required to be notified of a potential lay-off by May 1.
Prior to the meeting, district administrators and principals had already made $1.3 million in cuts. But even with the additional staff and program cuts, the mill rate for the upcoming school year would likely have to be raised by four or five percent from $7.04 to around $7.32-$7.35 per $1,000 of property valuation. On a $200,000 home that would be an increase of between $56-$70 in school taxes.
Board member and finance committee chairman Brian Bell said that was too much to expect from taxpayers already facing serious economic hardships like foreclosure, job loss and major investment loss. The rest of the board agreed with him and Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten was directed to asked the district's unions to consider the pay freeze.
"If we do this together as a district, we can have minimal lay-offs and minimal impact to the education of the students," said Bell. Bowen-Eggebraaten said she wanted to be the first to agree to take a pay freeze and she hoped that others on the staff would do the same.
The cuts, layoffs and wage freeze will be addressed again at the May 12 regular board meeting.
For more information see the April 30 edition of the Star-Observer.