Wil Okabe, the HSTA President, said that negotiations would cease if their proposal failed. This would leave parents, teachers, principals, and students with 21 Furlough Fridays in place until the school year 2010-2011 is over. The HSTA will vote next Wednesday to approve or disapprove a new supplemental agreement between HSTA, BOE, and the DOE.
HSTA is treating this as if it is the end of the road. There is more work to be done, but Im hopeful there can be further compromises to end this Furlough Friday fiasco, Finnegan said. The difference between essential and non-essential employees in the DOE is $1 million per day. Representative Finnegan continues to advocate bringing back only essential personnel in order to keep the cost of restoring Furlough Fridays reasonable and something the State can afford.
Finnegan said, We must live within our means. It costs an extra $1 million a day to bring back all DOE employees. It would be irresponsible to continue advocating that we bring back everyone.
A DOE approved list of essential and non-essential employees was submitted to the Governors office during the collective bargaining process. Examples of non-essential personnel include: Complex Area Superintendents, DOE central administrative and clerical workers, librarians, and certain resource teachers.
My proposal would reduce the appropriation from $92 million to $77.5 million, stated Representative Finnegan.