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West Bloomfield Teachers Receive Pay Cuts Earlier Than Expected

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WEST BLOOMFIELD (WWJ) - Could be a raucous caucus for Thursday night’s emergency meeting of the West Bloomfield School Board. The board is looking to end a months-long dispute by imposing a contract on their teachers with pay cuts.

But as WWJ’s Ron Dewey has learned, the union’s leader says the pay cuts have already happened.

West Bloomfield Education Association President Kim Pilarski said the administration informed her there would be an imposition as part of Thursday’s meeting. But she was also informed by teachers their latest paychecks had already been cut by ten percent.

“We asked what that imposition would be. At that time they said they did not know. Yet when I got back to my building my members told me that they have received their paychecks and they were getting a ten percent pay cut. They’ve acted upon it already without actually having the board vote and approve the ten percent pay cut,” Pilarski said.

“Members are stunned that they’ve decided to do this right before we leave for a week of spring break. We’ve talked about the concept that this was going to come, but we didn’t think that it was going to come in this fashion,” Pilarski added

In a recent blog entry, the West Bloomfield superintendent said the union “has not put anything on the table to create a significant amount to meet the district’s needs or allow us to reach an agreement.”

West Bloomfield teachers say their school district is playing hardball as contract talks have been at an impasse since last summer.

“We’ve sat at the table. We’ve offered five percent pay cut this  year, four percent next year, a change in insurance. If something happens with per pupil funding, if there’s a cut, we would change our insurance or make a different type of payment. We’ve offered all kinds of concessions that would come to almost $2-million, and it’s still not enough,” Pikarski said.

The West Bloomfield School District is running a $1.7-million deficit. WWJ is seeking comment from the district.

© 2011 WWJ Newsradio 950, All Rights Reserved.

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