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Friday, February 3, 2023
Home Schools Rye Teachers "Insulted" and "Appalled" by Board of Ed Prez Nathan

Rye Teachers “Insulted” and “Appalled” by Board of Ed Prez Nathan

I would not want to be Board of Education President Josh Nathan on parent teacher conference day. That guy is in some serious trouble.

Norma_dsc04855_2(PHOTO: Rye teachers on Osborn’s back-to-school parents night September 17th) The Rye Teachers Association wants to send Nathan and the entire Board of Education (BOE) to detention for the lengthy and failing contract negotiations that have been going on since June 2007. In an advertisement scheduled to run today in the Rye Record, the Rye Teachers Association (RTA) states:

"…we are insulted and, in fact, appalled by Mr. Nathan’s statement in his letter of September 23, that the Rye Teachers Association has shown no empathy for the economic pressures that this District faces and his insinuation that our only concerns are selfish ones."

The ad then details the split between the BOE and the RTE. It concludes:

"The RTA requests that the Board move away from its posturing and recalcitrance, adopt the reasonable recommendations of the fact-finder and bring this divisive controversy to a conclusion.  We can all then focus exclusively on our children’s education."

The official fact finder report was issued on June 23, 2008. It should be a heated Board of Education meeting next Tuesday, October 14th (8pm). Bring your number 2 pencils! What do you think? Sound off by leaving a comment at the end of this story.

Also published today in the local papers is a letter from Jaime L. Zung, a science teacher and the President of the Rye Teachers Association:

Dear Editor:
      I have worked as a science teacher at Rye High School for the past fifteen years and have never been as insulted as a professional as I was by Mr. Nathan’s comments in his September 23rd letter to the Rye community.  In his letter Mr. Nathan accuses the Rye Teachers Association of having no empathy for the citizens of Rye, and after inviting us during negotiations to brainstorm and “think out of the box,” takes our words completely out of context and uses them to paint us as selfish.  He presents the community with only partial information in an attempt to spin the facts in his favor.  For example, he has told the community that he wants the teachers to contribute 15% towards the cost of their health care premiums because the administrators in the district do.  But he has failed to tell them that the administrators receive a substantial override to their health care costs that offsets the 15% that they pay.  The RTA and the Board have been meeting since October 2006 and the Board’s proposal has not changed since then.  Mr. Nathan is being unfair in using the current Wall Street situation to justify the Board’s proposal that was made way before the present situation developed.

      An impartial mediator and a professional, independent, and well-respected fact-finder appointed by the New York State Public Employee Relations Board both rejected the Board’s proposal to the RTA, but the Board still refuses to budge stating that the fact-finder’s recommendations ignore the specific educational needs in Rye.  What are these specific educational needs?  The professionalism and dedication of Rye’s teachers have given Rye’s schools an excellent reputation that has attracted new and growing families to this community.  Rye has three Blue Ribbon of Excellence elementary schools, a Blue Ribbon of Excellence middle school, and a high school that was ranked 52nd out of more than 18,790 schools in the entire USA.  Our students continue to go to some of the best colleges and universities in the country and come back to tell us how well prepared they were by the Rye City schools.

      The RTA is asking for nothing more than what teachers in other comparable districts in Westchester county have received.  Our success and reputation attest to the fact that we certainly have earned at least that.  I urge the Board to adopt the recommendations of the fact-finder.  Let’s settle this so that we can redirect all of our efforts towards our children’s education.
      Yours sincerely,
      Jaime L. Zung
      President, Rye Teachers Association


  1. Our teachers do an excellent job and deserve to be fairly compensated.

    Besides the insults thrown around by Nathan, it is insulting to me as a parent, union member, life long Rye resident and fair minded human being that Nathan would disregard the fact finder.

    As a Rye taxpayer, how much is Nathan wasting in unnecessary lawyer fees?

    How long has Nathan lived in Rye?

  2. Personally, as a taxpayer and a parent with children in the schools, I love the teachers, I think they do a great job,and I think they’re very well compensated. I was insulted to see the teachers protesting at back-to-school night this week at Milton; I thought it was completely unneccessary and counter-productive, and I don’t think that most of the teachers realize that the BOE’s position is a reflection of most of the parent’s in Rye. The RTA should have settled long ago–whatever offer they get, going forward (with the financial climate in the U.S. being what it is, especially in this area), the offers are not going to get better, only worse. What the RTA does not realize or is not acknowledging, is that the world is a different place than it used to be–people don’t have company pensions anymore–if they’re lucky, they have 401Ks that are funded mostly by their own money; people have medical insurance through work that has huge premiums that are paid by the employees every month, and large co-payments. The offer that is on the table for the teachers is extremely generous, especially in today’s world, and they should accept it and RUN. The teachers are making a mistake in thinking that silence from the community indicates support of their position–most parents are solidly on the side of the BOE and are just reluctant to confront the teachers directly on this topic.
    And the RTA’s argument that they just want what everyone else is getting is as compelling as my 13 year old telling me everyone else is allowed to do something–i.e., not convincing at all.

  3. Mr Chittenden-
    Mr Nathan was elected into office.

    Doesn’t get paid for his hours of dedication to the children,teachers and taxpayers of Rye. Teachers are “fairly compensated” as is RYE PBA. Why didn’t you run for the BOE?

  4. I had no desire to run for the School Board. However, I do feel that there are other ways to save taxpayer dollars other than what appears to me as not offering our teachers a fair contract while treating them with little or no respect.

    Exorbitant Attorney fees and the circumstances behind why we now pay rent for the new Administrative Offices come to mind.

    I have a lot of respect and admiration for anyone who sits on the Rye School Board and I am very grateful for the many thankless hours they dedicate to our children.


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