As you know, the Great Neck Teachers Association is an umbrella organization that includes four affiliate groups. Standing with me are their leaders: Joan Lazaunik, co-President with Jennifer Rodrigues of the Office Staff Association; Barbara Konigsberg and Pam Fogel, co-Presidents of the Paraprofessionals Chapter; and Mike Golden, President of the Per Diem Chapter. Nancy Sharifi, the President of the Adult Education Chapter, is not with us only because she teaches on Monday nights at Clover Drive. Among them, these leaders represent more than 500 employees of the Great Neck Public Schools. Many of them are with us in the audience, supported by their colleagues of the Great Neck Teachers Association.
We are here tonight because the members of all four affiliates have been working under expired contracts since June 30 of 2015. The pace of negotiations for successor agreements has been glacially slow. Two of these groups have been awaiting a financial proposal from the district for several weeks now. Each of the other two has only had an initial meeting, which was several months ago.
There has been little fanfare about the lack of movement in any of these negotiations, partly because the people affected are keenly aware of the financial pressures and constraints being experienced by the district. They have continued to do their jobs with professionalism and grace. Settlement of these contracts is, however, LONG overdue. We urge the Board, as it considers next year’s budget, to craft a reasonable financial proposal for each of the GNTA affiliates and re-commit to meaningful negotiations in order to reach four fair settlements as soon as possible.