Every tax is a pay cut.  Every tax cut is a pay raise.
Citizens for Limited Taxation

Deliberate and wanton overspending Thursday, June 10, 2004
Harold J. Wolfe Metrowest Daily News
The Frugal Taxpayer was examining the proposed pay raises for the Framingham teachers.  According to the 2004 Framingham School budget, 674 teachers were getting paid a total of $37,955,174.  Our goal is to make sure that this line item in the school budget, in itself, does not exceed the guidelines of Proposition 2 1/2.

Thus, the budget line item for next year, given the same number of teachers should not exceed $38,904,053.  A difference of $948,879.

About half the teachers get a step raise that averages $2,200 for a total combined step increase of $741,400 for 2004.  See http://www.framingham.k12.ma.us/hr/salsched.html

The health insurance increase between 2003 and 2004 was $2.322 million, from $17.574 million to $19.866 million, a 13% increase.  Let's assume for simplicity that all employees are covered.  The town has about 2,587 employees, so the teachers portion of that increase was 674/2587 * 2.322 million = $605,000.

In the future, we hope to compute total compensation by including health insurance as part of the deal.  Using this methodology, the teachers total compensation increase was $741,000 + $605,000 = $1.346 million, a 3.5% total increase.  If you toss in taxpayer funded retirement, they'll get close to a 4% increase WITHOUT a COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment).

The 2004 school budget shows 674 teachers while there were about 8,289 students or a student/teacher ratio of 12.3.

These calculations are rough but they show clearly that when you include health insurance as part of the total compensation, we really can't afford any more COLAs. Town meeting should freeze all COLAs (including schools) until the town's health insurance is changed.  Voters should not vote for those who want to keep the current town's health insurance.  If this is not done, we can expect a Proposition 2 1/2 override sometime in the near future.  This constitutes deliberate and wanton overspending.

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