Manchester Alderman Worries About Teachers Pay - BOSC Says Show Me the Money! - Granite Grok

Manchester Alderman Worries About Teachers Pay – BOSC Says Show Me the Money!

Manchester NH City Hall

Special Committee on Negotiations Chairman Richard H. Girard took issue with an email sent by at-Large Alderman Daniel P. O’Neil, Chairman of the Board of Aldermen, about the status of negotiations with the city’s teachers.

In response to the exchange, which was sent by O’Neil to each member of the Board of School Committee, among others, and replied to in kind, Ward 10 Committeeman Dr. John Avard and Ward 8 Committeeman Jimmy Lehoux had something to say to O’Neil as well.


From: O’Neil, Daniel <>

Good morning all!

I asked that this email be forward to the BOSC.

I learned yesterday that an outstanding EH teacher at Hallsville/Smyth Road has left our district for Windham. He grew up in Manchester and has work for our school district for 10 or more years. He worked with kids who have an IEP or 504 plan. He is not a new teacher. By going to Windham, he got an increase of $8,000 on day one.

Please get a contract with all our school district employees and stop the exodus of great Manchester education professionals!


Dan O’Neil
249 West Haven Road
Resident, parent and taxpayer


Richard H. Girard <>

At its meeting the other night, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen moved $836,000 to pay for the first year of the police contract covering some 200 employees.  This, they claimed, stayed within the tax cap.

That same board gave us $2.5 million to settle contracts with about 2,000 employees.  That number actually reflects the application of the tax cap to our salary and associated payroll lines.  Had that been done with the police contract, the amount needed from contingency would have been roughly half of what was taken.

Alderman O’Neil, as chairman of the Special Committee on Negotiations, I invite you to forward any suggestions on how we can address the financial discrepancy between the BMA’s funding of the police contract and the school district’s contracts.  I would further ask that you use your clout with the unions to get them to the table rather than continue with their current conduct which seems to be to hold out in the hopes the state will provide the city or district with more school funding that could be used to give them bigger raises.


Richard H. Girard
Committee Member-at-Large


John Avard

It is a shame to lose a veteran teacher, however, in order to give every teacher an $8,000 raise in this next contract, we will need approximately $8.8 million for salary alone, plus retirement, FICA and Medicare, which I believe we calculate at 0.39%, putting the liability in the neighborhood of $12.25 million.  It may be difficult to stretch our current $2.5 million to cover that, especially since this union only represents about 55% of the employee population.


O’Neil, Daniel

Committee member Girard,

I don’t have the answers other than we reached deals with the city unions working with in the tax cap. My email was not about the police contracts but about our teachers, etc… The school district asked for $2.5m to settle contracts and that is what the BMA was able to pass and send to the district. Now it is not enough money.

All the best !

Jimmy Lehoux

and let’s not forget the cost of just barely maintaining bricks and mortar of our old buildings. Security, Technology and everyday basic supplies that are needed also fall on the long list. Please work on increasing the tax base and improving the quality of life in our beloved city so we stop negatively making the news and I am sure things will improve greatly.


Richard H. Girard <>

Alderman O’Neil.

I was merely pointing out the discrepancy in the availability of funding and noting the difference.  If the cap percentage was applied to the police payroll, the raises given would have been much smaller.  That the Board of Mayor and Aldermen decided to take from other areas of the budget to support a raise that is more than double what applying the cap would provide is its choice.  We, on the school board, do not have that ability and, therefore, cannot make that choice.  Our folks can do math and have often presented salary demands that equal the percentages given to the police, among others.  That is why the teachers have publicly said they’re awaiting the outcome of the state budget battle, hoping they can ask for more than what we’ve offered.  While I appreciate your sense of urgency, it is of little help without some idea as to how those who believe they’re being given short shrift to bargain within the constraints we are bound by.  If anything strikes you, feel free to let me know.

Thank you for your reply.


Oh, since you said I was complaining that the $2.5 million wasn’t enough, which I wasn’t, I was pointing out the dollar disparity between what was done for the police versus the schools, I want to remind you that Alderman Baines’ motion to provide the school district with $3 million to settle the contracts instead of $2.5 million was defeated.  I don’t remember how you voted on that, but I believe it was against.  Anyway, just a random thought that came to mind.

Richard H. Girard

Committee Member-at-Large

 | Girard at Large