Gerry Murphy's address to the BOCES Board on June 7th.
For the past 36 years I have been the face of BOCES /your hospitality. The students form Culinary have prepared food for every event the Board has celebrated. My time with BOCES has been a thrill and honor.
I am here tonight for two reasons.
One of the reasons I am here tonight is to say thank you for your service to education.
The second reason is Compensation.
In years past your leadership team was local; they knew the issues and they knew the concerns of parents, students and staff of our region.
They and you where fair and SW BOCES grew.
I never thought it necessary in the past to speak to you about compensation issues. This is my first time, in my 36 years, to speak on a compensation issue.
I am retiring this year. At a reception celebrating my retirement I was reminded, by my programs first guidance counselor, that the ratio of students with IEP’s was about 5% I also spoke to another guidance counselor about IEP issues in secondary day programs and he said the ratio was about 5%. Today at the career center we have about 70% students with IEP’s in the shops.
What does that say about BOCES?
It says you have a tremendous teaching staff that has adapted to the needs of the community.
It says the educational community of Westchester knows that SW BOCES can and does get the job done.
Remember the students we have today in the past were often in institutions.
Districts could not educate these students. Districts said, “So let’s send them to BOCES and let’s see what can happen.”
Happily, in most cases, a miracle happened. Your teaching staff enjoys the confidence of the Westchester educational community.
I truly think your leadership team at this time is out of touch with Westchester and your staff.
The teaching staff has been told the districts say no to this or that. That they don’t do certain things for their own staff and therefore the BOCES staff cannot enjoy any extras.
But I wonder why the same rule is not applied to leadership? I am OK if No is No top to bottom.
Sadly that is not the case; leadership rewards itself annually.
I do not know if it is a good idea to listen to what the districts say or request. I have always thought of BOCES as the leader on all issues pertaining to education.
I know of one issue when the districts/superintendent’s all sent a signed letter to the newspaper saying not to hire a new COO. …you chose not to listen ...
Again thank you for your service to education and for giving me the opportunity to serve.
Long time advocate and union activist, Gerry Murphy, and President, Melissa Barreto, spoke out for the just treatment of members and called for the settlement of a fair contract at the June 7th BOCES Board Meeting. The meeting was attended by more than 30 additional members who came out, on short notice, for a show of solidarity.
President Barreto's statements:
I want to thank the board for providing me the opportunity to make a statement on behalf of the BTA. We are here today to let you know that we have been without a contract since 2014.
As divisions around us receive raises and base salaries increase, we have not received raises since 2012. We are asking for a fair and equitable contract. The memorandum of agreement was voted down 175-15. This clearly speaks to my members frustrations; and they have made their voices heard, past and present.
I want to thank the retirees who are here for their support. We have worked collaboratively with administration to create the APPR plan, the professional development plan and the summer school side letter all in good faith with the same passion to move BOCES ahead.
We applaud and appreciate the financial means put forth in consultants and contracts to invest in this organization to make it an educational leader. What we ask is that you invest in us, your employees who make that difference in the lives of children each and everyday!
Melissa Barreto, President BTA