Southold teachers agree to give back $2,000 in salaries for two years

Southold teachers have agreed to give back $2,000 in salary a year for the next two years to help the school district control costs, it was announced at Wednesday night’s meeting of the Southold Board of Education. The give-backs from the teachers will save the district approximately $200,000 a year for the next two years, Superintendent David Gamberg said.

The agreement came during contract talks that the teachers agreed to open with the district even though they still had two years to go on their current contract. As part of the deal, the contract will be extended two more years and the teachers will receive 2 percent raises during the final two years.

Also on Wednesday, the school board adopted a proposed 2011-12 budget of $26.25 million, a 2.25 percent spending increase over the $25.67 million budget for the current school year. If approved by voters in May, the budget is expected to raise the school tax rate 2.08 percent, costing a homeowner whose property is assessed at $500,000 an additional $97.92 in taxes, Mr. Gamberg said.

The teachers, he said, had acted to help the district preserve educational programs and out of concern for taxpayers they knew had been hard hit by the economy.

Teachers didn’t have to open talks on a revised contract, board member Scott DeSimone said, expressing appreciation that they had cared enough to do so. “We were able to restore programs because of that,” he said.

A full story on the district’s budget proposal will appear in The Suffolk Times April 21 edition.