Mironitis Infects BOE



10 Stratford teachers face ax
By Richard Weizel
Updated: 05/29/2009 09:33:32 AM EDT

STRATFORD — Ten teachers and several other school district employees are likely to lose their jobs and local students will no longer be able to attend a regional arts program under budget cuts approved by the Board of Education.

The school board imposed job and program reductions this week to reflect the $600,000 cut the Town Council recently made in approving $88.8 million in education spending for 2009-10, less than 2 percent more than this year’s school budget. The changes were approved by a 6-1 vote, with Janice Andersen the lone negative vote.

Supt. of Schools Irene Cornish said the teacher layoffs are in addition to five teaching positions that were eliminated at Bunnell and Stratford high schools last month. She said the new layoffs include nine elementary school teachers — at least one at each of the town’s eight grammar schools — and a middle school special education teacher.

Cornish and School Board Vice Chairman Joseph Dimenno said they are “bitterly disappointed” that teacher layoffs could not be avoided, which they indicated would have been the case if the Stratford Education Association’s executive board had agreed to a plan that would have cost its nearly 600 union members an extra $10 a week in health insurance deductibles.

“It greatly saddens and frustrates me that the union’s executive board rejected a proposal that would have cost members just $550 each for the year, which breaks down to about $50 a month or $10 a week,” said Cornish. “I can’t understand how the executive board is willing to watch promising young teaching colleagues lose their jobs, resulting in increased class sizes and elimination of programs for something that would have cost them so little.”

Not understand? What’s not to understand? Because Dr. Cornish would not negotiate anything. It was increase the deductible or else. It wasn’t salaries, it wasn’t productivity, it wasn’t work rules, it wasn’t anything but increase deductibles. How many principals and other administrators stepped up to take a zero increase in salary?

And yet again, who suffers? Young teachers and children. We expect this kind of political game from Town Hall. Not from our school system.

Without givebacks, Stratford teachers face layoffs
Stratford superintendent says lack of union concessions will result in 12 teachers losing jobs
By Richard Weizel
Updated: 05/25/2009 10:56:36 PM EDT

STRATFORD — The executive board of the local teachers’ union has rejected proposed contract concessions that school administrators say would have saved jobs, but now threatens about a dozen teachers with layoffs, as well as boosting elementary school class sizes and cutting programs, Supt. of Schools Irene Cornish said.

Cornish said she is “very disappointed” the nearly 600 members of the Stratford Education Association, the town’s largest union, won’t even get to vote on a proposal that would have made up a $600,000 shortfall in the 2009-10 budget by having teachers and members of other school district unions contribute $550 next fiscal year toward their medical insurance deductibles. In the new fiscal year, the deductibles that the school board will pay for a family policy will cost $2,300 and nearly $1,200 for individual policies, she said.

We are sure that the teachers and other unions are even more disappointed in Dr. Cornish’s proposal. We are, after all, talking about 0.7% of the approved BOE budget. The superintendent’s proposal is to reach into the pocket of every employee’s healthcare without providing any guarantees of any sort. The unions agreed to the switch to the current healthcare system because of the terms and conditions that were offered to them. Now those terms and conditions seem to be the first thing to go. And the next year, and the next year? It almost seems as if that was the plan when the switch was made, doesn’t it?

It is an unreasonable bargaining position to threaten layoffs if concessions are only made by one side. The union leaders and BOE administration should do what they are paid to do: Negotiate in good faith.

37 Responses to “Mironitis Infects BOE”

  1. 1 sudds

    Jez… you left out the part of the article that infuriates me the most:

    “But now we have no choice. There will be layoffs, and unfortunately,
    the layoffs will hit young teachers with promising futures the hardest,”

    This is why I HATE unions! Instead of laying off 10 senior teachers making $90k each we’re going to can 20 young teachers making $45k each! Am I the only one who realizes that this is going to negatively effect class sizes? (and let’s not got into the “complacency” topic)

    I bet if the layoffs weren’t going to be seniority based this vote would have turned out a LOT different!!!

  2. 2 jezebel282


    “you left out the part of the article that infuriates me the most:”

    I didn’t leave it out on purpose.

    “But now we have no choice. There will be layoffs, and unfortunately,
    the layoffs will hit young teachers with promising futures the hardest,”

    This is clearly untrue. There are plenty of choices other than layoffs. Once again, it’s an $89 MILLION budget and we are talking about 0.7%. Not a single administrator has offered to make any concession at all.

    This doesn’t remind you of Miron giving his department heads raises and then asking everyone else to take zeros?

  3. 3 sudds

    Sorry… I didn’t mean it in an accusatory manor!

    But anyway… I thought the Council basically revised the budgets so that those raises would be null and void?!?!?!

    Also, the town budget is seperate from the BOE budget, no?

    Lastly… I still say that the vote would have been a LOT different if those voting were not basically “safe”!!!

  4. 4 jezebel282


    “Also, the town budget is seperate from the BOE budget, no?”

    No. That’s why the Town budget is $180 million. That’s why Center School is closed.

    “Lastly… I still say that the vote would have been a LOT different if those voting were not basically “safe”!!!”

    Safe? Have you never heard of “tenure”? The Holy Grail of every education system.

    The bottom line is that if the only position is take a cut in medical coverage with no guarantees or else, the majority of the members will say no. So would you if you were a member. Cornish is not asking for a salary freeze or any work rule changes.

  5. 5 sudds

    You’re asking me… ME… if (a) I would basically take a pay cut of $550 a year so that (b) several of my co-workers could keep their job?!?!?!

    Seriously… you’re asking ME???

    Actually… I would actually consider that one. Unless, of course, the “newbies” were a-holes!!!

  6. 6 jezebel282


    The only problem with that is that it is across the board. The lunch lady making $26K or the custodian making $36K would have to kick in the same $550 as the principal making $125K or the teacher making $85K. Not quite equitable if your making say, $181K a year.

  7. 7 sudds

    So then you think that the principal should pay more just because he/she has done more to progress his/her career?

    “from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs”… right Jez???

  8. 8 jezebel282


    Did the Close-Cover-Before-Striking University have a business school too? Is that where you got the MBA? Do you want me to explain the difference between a progressive tax and flat tax as well?

    Should employees who also work hard be denied health coverage because they don’t get paid enough to afford it? When you raise the deductible to the same $550 for cafeteria workers, custodians, secretaries and clerical workers it is unfair. These are people who are working hard and supporting families on less than $40K/year. In fact, there are some of these workers who will opt out of the plan altogether and place their dependents in the Huskie program and take their chances on their own health because they can’t afford the $550.

    Would you like the tutorial on how a sales tax hurts the poor more than the rich as well?

  9. 9 sudds

    Actually… it was ONLY a business university! 😛

    I know how it works thanks… but I just don’t believe in penalizing hard work and/or success!!

    Do you think that the people earning $40k a year should be able to buy a car for half the price of someone earning $80k?

    How about the internet connection you’re using right now? Would you be willing to pay double so we can provide free access to a single woman who considers her “job” having more kids so her welfare check will go up (if you don’t think this is true… then you should try working at H&R Block in New Haven for ONE day)???

  10. 10 sudds

    PS… “Did the Close-Cover-Before-Striking University have a business school too? Is that where you got the MBA?”

    My MBA is from NYU.

  11. 11 jezebel282

    And you still manage to think like that?

    “Do you think that the people earning $40k a year should be able to buy a car for half the price of someone earning $80k?”

    No, unless they have better credit than the person making $80k. But I also don’t think they deserve to get sick and die because their life circumstance didn’t permit them to go to college and graduate school.

    Is your company’s health plan co-pay based on your salary or is it a flat rate for everyone? If Mrs. Sudds has 4 kids instead of 1 will you pay the same even though you have more dependents than someone with 1 kid? (It is just an EXAMPLE. I don’t think even you can beg Mrs. Sudds that much).

    “Would you be willing to pay double so we can provide free access to a single woman who considers her “job” having more kids so her welfare check will go up”

    We already do (at least I hope that is where the universal access fee goes).

    Was your MBA thesis “I got mine, screw you.”?

  12. 12 1george1

    At the Bored of Edukation Budget Workshop with most of the Town Council
    + Cornish / Branyan / Joe D + 2 other BoE – Councilor Emma Brooks mentioned
    her Union in State of CT. voted to take a cut to save jobs, and suggested it
    to the BoE, which Ms. Cornish has done.

    The FAC’S Russell Hayden did 96 % of the work on the Health Benefits report.
    I found some HSA background information and important questions to ask.

    Russ Hayden owns a company with 65 employees. They Pay 40 % premium of
    a $ 12,000 a year Health Benefit plan.

    Stratford Town & Education pay 13 % of $ 16 – $ 18,000 a year plans.
    > I wonder how much gets kicked back (finders fees) to certain financial
    people in Mill River CC or Law firm in Milford?

    I told Ms. Cornish, I want that $ 1 million set aside for HSA which is Tax
    Deductable, to come back to the Tax Payers.
    – Cornish is a captive of the Education system, yet has heart.
    – The teachers accepted HSA, against advise of National & State unions.
    There is justifiable fear similar to Social Security being privatized and
    stolen by creatures like Bush – Cheney – & confed rebel Newt GingRICH.

    Ms. Cornish made it clear that she made it clear to the unions that the
    $ 2300 family + $ 1100 individual was a 2 year limit ($ 1 million set aside)
    to entice the Education into the HSA with higher deductables, effectually
    100 % covered by the 2 year offer.

    Cornish / Branyan / union / teachers all used terms SAVINGS & 19 %.
    Really it is COST AVOIDANCE since the added 19 % was NEVER spent.

    Sudds & Nnan can explain the definition differences.

    I believe the destruction of the USA financial infrastructure and attack
    on the remaining unions and PENSIONS is NO ACCIDENT.
    Stupidity and Greed of a few, hurt the majority.

    Unions were a major force for improving standards of living and a check
    & balance against the orgainizations of BIG MONEY by huge Businesses,
    WHO in turn have had havoc wrought upon them, by the people they
    bought and paid for….

    Unions try to keep the highest paid and lowest paid in a narrow range,
    exactly to keep divide and conquor from taking place. It also allos for
    equity equality, which is disappearing, rapidly.

    I was the ONLY member of the Public (or press) at Budget Work Shops.

    I attended 3 of 4 of them, but slept thru part of Fire Dept presentation
    between the Police & EMS, which I wholly heard.
    I missed the last Budget Work shop – PW – health & smaller ones.

    So much for involvement in understanding how / why money is spent,
    of Miron / Dom / Harkins / Jon / Carroll / O’Brien.

    Gavin ran the Budget Work Shops & is a C. F. O. of aspecialty Insurance
    Company, thus he KNOWS MONEY.

    JULIAN – GAVIN – T. MOORE finally asked questions of Esq. Burturla they
    had avoided for years. I await information from his promises to them, like
    list of 235 open cases in his computer, that is NOT FOUND ANYWHERE in
    computers or hard record in Town Hall of the Town Clerk or Attorney’s

    I may not be the prettiest or most educated candidate for Mayor.
    But I do my homework, and don’t like liars and thieves.

  13. 13 sudds

    “I wonder how much gets kicked back (finders fees) to certain financial
    people in Mill River CC…”

    I’m not certain why you hate Mill River so much George, but did you know that you (ok… maybe not YOU personally… LOL!) can join for FREE right now!!! All you gotta do is pony up the annual golf and dining fees and you’re in!!!

  14. 14 jezebel282


    I know I’m going to regret this, but, huh?

  15. 15 sudds

    in the name of the Father, and of…

  16. 16 jezebel282


    On second thought…never mind, ok?

  17. 17 1george1

    Republican town committee meetings were moved from Booth to
    Mill River Country Club thanks to (GOOGLE: Norm Aldridge SEC)

    Dom happens to be having his Fund Raiser at, wait …. let’s see …
    drumroll please
    Mill River Country Club

    Nothing against Mill River Country Club, except Norm and Crudo,
    his Charley McCarthy are involved there.
    I wonder when it was last fumigated?

    Harkins had his fund raiser at “JOHNNY’S”
    Honest count R Registrar DeCilio is Harkin’s camp pain manager.
    DeCilio is long time friend of Angelo.
    No Interest conflict?
    > Campaign Manager and Voters Registrar?

    Jon had his Fund Raiser at Mulberry Street East aka Harborside,
    where his camp pain Manager Ben Proto has repped to Zoning.

    Miron had his Fund Raiser at Stella’s a couple years ago.
    You know, where the Stratford Police Mobile Command was set up
    for those potential terrorist striking at Sikorsky Helicopter Plant?
    The whole of Stratford is only 14 miles square.
    Police HQ is 4 miles down main street.
    Mobile command center? Gimme a break.

    When I lived in Fairfield, my home was 1/2 between Luigi’s and the
    Rustic Grotto, where one counld go to either place to see Trench
    coats hanging around the shoulder of very well dressed gentlemen.
    Luigi owners bought stellas many years ago.
    Badda Boomp!

    However Fairfield Mafia were forced out of Fairfield, and Political
    people seemed to die off about the time GE CORP HQ was moving
    into Fairfield. (old guard Irish & Germans / Greeks / Italians / Jewish)
    Center Rest Papageorge moved to Westport
    Surfside Sepot moved to Pepermill
    Acropolis and Villa Pompey sold to owners of Tommy’s (center rest)
    Pompano took over Westport Bowling and became “V” and opened
    “Centro in Fairfield” and “Gates” along gold coast.

    Actually I respect the Mafia more than the FBI / JUSTICE / Intelligence.
    They are not hypocrits.
    They had a sense of family. honor, & staying in business – while
    not involving innocents….
    They actually protected the neighborhoods and kept out drugs.
    (At least the crime families with self respect did.)
    There was a closed circle to get or use normal business / schools,
    in my grandfather’s days, where Irish / Italian / Jewish / Hungarian /
    Polish / German / Portuguese / Blacks got along and did business with
    each other. My grandfather had 12 bakery trucks and hired diverse
    people, while keeping some people fed & alive during the depression,
    because he had the bakery …

  18. 18 sudds

    George… you missed one…

    Ronald McDonald hangs out at McDonalds… this can only mean what???

  19. 19 jezebel282


    Oh no!

    Ronald is in the McMafia?

  20. 20 sudds

    “My grandfather had 12 bakery trucks and hired diverse
    people, while keeping some people fed & alive during the depression,
    because he had the bakery …”

    HOLY CR*P…


    …tell me that the aforementioned bakery is NOT the old “Bronx Bakery” in Bridgeport!!!

    (forgive me father for I have sinned… but come on God… not THAT badly)

  21. 21 sudds

    “Ronald is in the McMafia?”

    Isn’t that the IRA???

  22. 22 jezebel282

    It explains the red hair.

  23. 23 sudds


    please see #20 above and repond as quickly as humanly possible!!!

  24. 24 1george1

    Interesting NONE of the above was editted for relevance?

    Oh wait.

    Sddus & Ezej were simply responding to my post, in the same blog stream.
    Goody. Goody. Makin progress!

    I think the Bakery was Mulligan’s crullers?
    But I honesty am not sure and I am glad you asked.

    McDonald’s was started by Ray Kroc.
    I wonder why it is Ronald McDonald, and not Ray?
    Anyway, he saw a Milkshake machine with multiple mixers
    at a McDonalds brothers site, if I remember correctly and if
    the story is true?

    But I wondered about the Jewish Dietary Laws about not
    Mixing Milk and Beef, for digestive reasons?

    The Kroc – McDonalds are among many Jewish Philanthopic
    and or intellectual groups I admire.
    They have done much good work for needy people and great in a
    wide variety of neighborhood, with hiring and training practices.
    McMeat has very good quality control.
    – I do not believe Kosher – but they have been consistently good.
    Afterall, with BILLIONS served ….

    I think Sudds & Jeze have hit upon a great Marketing idea for
    the McDonald’s franchise to Market McMafia:
    – McMafia: extra virgin Olive Oil,
    – McMafia: Salads,
    – McMafia: Antipasta,
    – McMafia: Cheese,
    – McMafia: Pastas
    – McMafia: Scicilian Ices
    – McMafia: Canoli’s and Pastries

    TAG LINE > “The mouth watering taste you can not refuse!”

    Sddus & Ezej > It can be bigger than Newman’s own?
    Your idea, run with it …

  25. 25 1george1

    With the benefits enjoyed in Municiple / State / Federal government,
    I wonder what Sudds and Jeze would consider to be fair wages for

    1) the must have a lot of degrees crew? (Bored of Ed)
    the must have a lot of training crews? (Safety)

    2) I wonder about the ratios of police / fire / pw / town hall / ed
    supervisors and support compared to the primary function workers?

    3) the necessity for the exotic insurance coverages who primarily
    benefit the vender’s compensation and kickbacks … er .. finders fees?

    4) what they consider is a fair and equitable pension, and related to
    the money put into their pensions?
    – It is estimated the $ 134,000 pension, may not have even contributed
    $ 100,000 in the entire live of his pension contributions, normally matched
    by the town. However …. “this is stratord.”

    Yo Blog readers – ever notice Jeze & Sudds NEVER answer challenges,
    but post only nit-picking items, which they can mock?

    Actually Jeze is far better than sudds in this area.

    I guess PCS stopped posting after I debated her on commuter parking?
    Shame. PCS bought up couple things I didn’t know.
    Shame. PCS seems more interested in a “waiting for GODOT” parking
    garage, than even considering interim solutions?
    PCS – will you take the challenge?
    I miss you and your intelligent post.

    Nnan – Where have YOU gone?
    Are you up for a specific challenge as noted?
    I miss you and your intelligent post.

    Mike R – Kane – Cyclops – FOS
    I miss you and your posts.
    Kane – Cyclops > had tidbits of interesting factoids.
    FOS – while an insensitive Jerk, WHO I think is or was a Councilor
    and not out of towner as claimed – does know the law.
    Too bad my debates with FOS caused him to turn tail with tail
    between his legs, which I suspect is mostly due to my being
    to correct on the economy/pension/governmental malfeasance

    Star – When I make a sign available for you, I will include a bib
    for those times Sudds insults me or anyone.
    He does cause smiles and more.
    While PCS is my favorite bloggers, you are the kindliest blogger,
    and Jeze is the most responsive

  26. 26 1george1

    Jeze – please give my best to the Play Write who once endorsed
    me for Town Council District 3 over Gavin because:

    “Everyone in Town Hall hates George Mulligan.”

    I think I accomplished the same thing on this blog, by accepting
    every challenge for debate and reducing the blogs and beliefs
    of some of the similarly obnoxious bloggers to the pile they belong.
    – Once bullies are challenged their Yellow Color comes out.

    Jeze never backs down.
    I back down when I believe I am wrong and I give credit (as has Jeze)
    where credit is due (Jeze never compliments Miron / Burturla)
    I credit Nnan, PCS, Star, Jeze, and even FOS
    I compliment Mike R on golf and being a caring dad.
    I compliment Cyclops & Kane when they post facts.

    I leave myself wide open for TIN FOIL attacks –
    FACE IT – I make you people react AND I get you to THINK!
    You challenge me and my thinking / writing process = GREAT!

    Jeze, I am trying to increase your blog activity by insulting
    you main posters.
    Hey it works for WWE & VINCE McMahan or is that McMafia?
    It works for SIMON COWELL.
    It works for Jerry Springer

    Jeze, you do keep the momentum going, and sometimes
    I bust em on you to stir the blog pot.

    Churchill claimed Russia was “A conundrum inside an enigma.”

    “Enigma” was the CODE NAME for the DECODER which deciphered
    the German Reichstag secret CODE.
    Kinda the ultimate MASONIC DECODER RING? 🙂

    POINT: Stratford is a PUZZLE.
    Many many people know pieces of the PUZZLE.
    Especially the readers of this blog!!

    Some of who are Town Councilors, Town Committee Members,
    Police Officers, Fire personnel and / or relatives.
    You all know embarassing truths.
    However they have many of you bound due to peer pressure,
    pensions, pay, rank, contracts, or damn foolery.

    When the DAMN BREAKS or if it BREAKS … the ones who go
    State’s evidence first go “Scot rite Free.”

    It may come down to them or you….
    Which do you prefer?

    Doing the right thing is actually better for everyone.
    Unfortunately, the BIG FISH in the BIGGEST POND have major
    leverage and I am expecting at least ONE MORE Stock Market
    Test of the LOW, in 1 to 4 months, when NO ONE expects it!

    Then either the Stock Market turns to BULL RUN or they destroy
    the Capitialistic System, which may be their end game?

    – If you watch movies like Angels and Demons or remember JFK,
    what always happens to the assassins and betrayers of Turst?

    Think about that….

  27. 27 sudds

    “Yo Blog readers – ever notice Jeze & Sudds NEVER answer challenges,
    but post only nit-picking items, which they can mock?”

    George… if your “challenges” made ANY sort of sense I would answer them!

  28. 28 sudds

    “I think the Bakery was Mulligan’s crullers”


  29. 29 jezebel282

    That’s it? The leverage for Sudds is baked goods?

  30. 30 sudds

    Most of the time… YES! 😀

    But in this instance… my family ran the old “Bronx Bakery” in Bridgeport… for a while there I thought I might be related to George!!!

  31. 31 jezebel282


    “for a while there I thought I might be related to George!!!”

    Well, that explains the panic.

    Me…I’ll take a good knish or a real canoli any day. (They must be illegal in CT)

  32. 32 1george1

    good grief, charlie brown.


  33. 33 nnanerak

    Sorry George, it’s been an exceptionally busy time for me. I have absolutely no idea what challenges you are talking about . I spent more time than I should have going through your posts-no challenges there. Keep it short/relevent and I’ll read it-otherwise-scrolling. Sorry-too much to do and too little time-my Superman cape is at the cleaners.

  34. 34 1george1


    It is enough to see you are still around.
    Stay well.

  35. 35 1george1

    It appears the Mayor was edumacated by the ct post editorial staff

  36. 36 mikereynolds

    As usual George you are incorrect.

    The editorial staff did not “edumacate” him.

    They bitch slapped him……hard.

  37. 37 sudds

    Forget about biotch-slapped!

    They… well, let’s just say that I hope that they cuddled him afterwards!!!

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