Letter to the Editor: Contract Was “Giveback”

Three hundred workers at Westchester Community College have been without a contract since Jan. 1, 2012. They recently reached an agreement with the college that was not particularly favorable to them, since it substantially increased their health insurance costs. In fact, a close analysis of the terms shows their net income would slightly diminish. It was a giveback contract.

In spite of this, County Executive Rob Astorino rejected the contract as being too generous, since it includes a total salary gain of 7 percent over the four-year period. He advocates a 4 percent total increase, which is 1 percent per year, and “compensating concessions.” He apparently thinks that the maintenance workers and secretaries at WCC are being overpaid. They should have a lower standard of living, and he will try to make that happen.

He also claimed that the rejected contract would require increases in tuition (he is protecting the students). The WCC administration itself disputes this claim, saying that no tuition increase would be necessary.

Astorino is continuing to bolster his reputation as a fiscal conservative on the backs of secretaries, clerks, groundskeepers and other, largely invisible, but vital service workers. He has been playing this unethical game for years and the residents of Westchester should put a stop to it.

Donald Shernoff

The writer is an adjunct professor at Westchester Community College.

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