*****NEW****Click on link below to be directed to the Hodgson Russ Legal Bills Jan- May 2016- THE FLEECING OF THE TAXPAYER.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Despite having more students than the Sweet Home School District, which ranks number one in pay in Erie County, and number four out of the 430 Upstate New York Schools, Hamburg teachers are in the bottom of Erie County, and in at the bottom of Upstate New York school districts. 

Why is this?

Several teachers have written to Concerned Hamburger about this very matter, and have offered some of the following explanations.

" The HTA President wont listen to his members.  He just appointed, or more like it, anointed an elementary special education teacher to try and negotiate against the district and the lawyers representing the district. We may as well kiss a pay raise goodbye"  A second teacher wrote, " so much for us being number one in implementing APPR and SLOs. What a freaking laughing stock we are...the HTA is useless, and so are John and Peg".

Another teacher wrote, " that is what we get for having a middle school teacher try to negotiate".

And another, " I work at Charlotte, and I blame Cliff H (former President). He had no problem sucking in his fat pay check, working at a .6 position, collecting $2500 for a magazine sale, being a peer coach, and retiring at over $100,000 year.  The sad soul is still hanging on, and has the nerve to show his face around here.'

One wrote, " Haaaa..haaaa...what a big fat laugh", and another, "its no wonder our schools are falling in ranks", "..I work in the high school, and that place is a joke...'.

So, Hamburg Taxpayer, ask yourself, where is your tax money going to???  From what we have reported on this blog it seems it is going to the superintendent and his administrative staff, Harris Beach Law Firm, Energy Consultants and many over priced outside consultants.  

Teacher pay rankAscending
DistrictK-12 enrollment5th25th50th75th95th
4Sweet Home3,457$44,061$60,784$70,546$83,324$97,567
12Orchard Park5,137$41,150$54,311$67,072$89,000$91,080
26Grand Island3,060$42,049$51,673$64,772$80,879$92,867
37West Seneca6,881$44,237$53,023$58,364$80,429$86,775
219East Aurora1,932$39,777$44,606$49,903$64,242$83,711
274Springville-Griffith Institute2,052$36,689$43,288$50,740$63,443$83,821
285North Collins606$38,366$46,237$51,789$61,035$74,411
310Cleveland Hill1,399$34,485$41,932$51,198$63,905$82,521


Anonymous said...

You could FOIL the invoices that Harris Beach submitted. Law firms are usually very detailed about their billing. It might actually say how many hours they billed for internet "research."

Anonymous said...

Regarding those emails that must be released, here's the precedent:
a school in Syracuse must release 87,000 emails.

Anonymous said...

It is difficult to say this nicely.
Cliff H. former Pres. is the individual responsible for our salary scale. He retired with a salary of over $110,000. Far higher at the time of anyone else in the bargaining unit. He took care of himself financially while giving all of us the finger. We will never recover or move up the ladder, too many years lost. It surprises me how the two of them (Cliff & Mary) still go to conferences for the union on our dime. Let them pay for their own vacations.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for nothing Cliff

Anonymous said...

Cliff THE MAN, he is responsible for this, too little to late.

How many years did we pay for Cliff's shack ups with HTA
"conference funds".

Anonymous said...

I understand that this is awfully low pay, but how on earth are the teachers going to ask for more money when teachers have been getting cut for three years in a row? I guess I just don't understand how it would be possible for them at this time.

Browning teacher said...

The teachers are never going anywhere...they have Bo Zo the Clown, an arrogant elementary school special Ed teacher as the head negotiator, she is plainly in the pocket of the administration. We are told she hired someone to do a questionnaire of the teachers. I hope one of the questions asks if anyone thinks she is capable of negotiating. She said she will negotiate jobs away and take another pay freeze. Why don't we get Steve achramovitch to negotiate for the teachers, he'd probably do a better job. Hamburg teachers you deserve everything you got. Bahhhhaaa....and you are the laugh of the teaching community.

Anonymous said...

The teacher's need to stop fighting amongst themselves between different schools and get on the same page. The union negotiators of the past were nearing the end of their careers and were simply padding their own wallets. The single biggest priority for teachers in the Hamburg district is too come together, find a reasonable leader, and renew negotiations. A better contract will improve morale and improve the district immediately. The petty issues typically argued here are moot until the bigger problem is fixed.

retired teacher with no insurance. thanks cliff said...

2:38 p.m., I think you are clueless. Rob Ziegler is not ending his career, nor is Maureen Garra the new negotiator. They are useless and way in over their heads. And if they were at the end of their careers then you are suggesting they said to the rest of the union...screw you? thats exactly what they are doing. Did you hear about the longevity bonus...$1,000 for those on the top step. New leadership is right, John is horrible...Maureen Garra hasnt a clue about how much people are not in favor or her. Hey Concerned, why dont you do a online poll, like you have done in the past to ask any teachers that come this site if they think Maurren Garra and the negotiation team have any idea what they are doing and should they be doing what they cant. And, ask the teachers if they are willing to give up more positions and take a wage freeze. I know several teachers that visit this blob, and it would be a good test. The union wont ask the teachers some maybe you should of the HTa should start a blog.Thanks, Just sayin

Anonymous said...

Steve Achramovitch from what I observe is negotiating both sides of our contract. The idiots have lost teachers, taken a pay freeze, larger classes, loss of great programs a collective slap in the face and they still don't get what there obligations are to us. we have bent over backwards and still get kicked in the ass.

Steve Achramovitch is an enemy of education and a poor dishonest leader. You cannot have him neg. our contract YOU IDIOTS.

Wake up leadership Steve Achramovitch is an enemy of education and a dishonest poor leader.

Anonymous said...

Don't trust a dishones bastard. How many more times can he lie to the sb and our leadership before someone issues a pink slip to him

Anonymous said...

I think that the teachers need to organoze themselves better. that is the problem. Yes they were first to signon to APPR, but the membership is clueless to how it all works. I don't think anyone is expecting to get rich, but a cost of living increase would be nice considering the increase in prices. Teachers have master level degress plus; something that they had to obtain. I do not begrudge my children's teachers a fair salary. In fact I would like my kids schools to be the place people want to work, attracting the best and the brightest. Everyone thinks they can teach. Its a lot more than just keeping the peace for 6 hours. Most of what is done is reasearched based. Kids could simply get notes, memorize said notes, test, and repeat. This does not make for good learning - it just means that kids will do well on a test and a particular time. This is the problem with politicians making educational policy. The state legislature needs to be held accountable for the mess they have made in NYS.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a teacher so correct me if I'm wrong, don't the teachers elect their own union president? And negotiators? If you don't like it, it is certainly within your own power to change it. It seems as if you all are looking around, waiting for someone ELSE to step up and be your leader. If you really want a new union president, call an emergency meeting and elect one.

Anonymous said...

FYI - teachers don't elect negotiators.

Step 5 and frozen. said...

If the teachers did elect the negotiators, they would NEVER had elected Maureen Garra. SHe has been on the neogotation team for years, and has been as useless as can be, She was best pals with Kelly Harper, and she and Peg Domners are both soft on the administration. Besides, Maureen has openly admitted to anyone, that she will not turn up an offer that includes another Pay Freeze and more teachers going. Just take a look at that Business First Poll..Maureen Garra should get a dunce cap. She is plainly stupid....but she dont care, she is on top step and getting her longevity pay. I heard she gets 5 thousand from the union to give away their jobs. So now, We have two special ed teachers- Maurreen Garra and Scott Wideman, a non-citizen Math teacher- Mike Harrigan, and a 4th grade teacher...not sure of her name. So teachers, is this what you want...un experienced people trying to negotiate with Steveo and Harris Beach. You deserve what you get. Maureen Garra- a wolf in sheeps clothing. Get rid of her, or we will be stuck in this shit for years....Cliff is loving all of this..

lett us in the cold said...

Definately Cliff's doing, we need not pay for anymore of Cliff's worthless conferences, we receive no benefit from them but to give that cheap dude a free trip.

Sorry old man

Anonymous said...

I don't know how Cliff can show his face with us. He is good friends with non other


Top Step said...

I have been a HTA pre for years, and I just came across the 2012-13 budget that Treasure Mary Lavis published. I never thought much about it, but after reading this blog, I started thinking about what Clif Huen as former HTA president did for us. I always supported Cliff, but now I am reflecting on how rotten he was a union president. I learned on this blog that he only taught three classes, but collect a full time teacher salary. No wonder he was in the admin's back pocket they were paying him about 30,000 per year as a full time teacher. I learned he collected a stipend for a club that never met, someone at our school said it was the magazine sale for readers digest. A stipend that he put in the contract that was as high as student government. I learned he was a peer coach, but didnt spend enough time at school to actually coach a young kid coming in. Then, I found the HTA budget that his girlfriend Mary Lavis, Treasurer of the HTA put together. I learned that she and her man Clifford went to detroit this summer for the AFT conference. She had budgeted $4,500 bucks. Did anyone see any receipts for this trip? Who went. $4,500 is a lot of my dues for two love birds to go to Detroit in July. Strangely, the NYSUT conference is in DC in April and she only has budgeted 5,500. Then, I was told as I wasnt at the last RA meeting that Mary and Clifford are traveling to Saratoga Springs to go to another conference, but its not on the budget for the HTA. Where is this money coming from? As I sit back and think about the state of the HTA, it is not a union. Its a slush fund for Mary and Cliff to travel. Concerned, I am going to send you the HTA budget please publish. I bet all the teachers who come to your site will be shocked. I am beginning to see the light myself and cant believe we have been so dumb. No wonder the teachers on the lower steps are stuck in a salary that is the lowest in town. You should hang your head Cliff....after 40 years in this district...look at the mess you left, and you still come back to spend other peoples money.

Cliff sold us out said...

Please publish the HTA treasures report. I'd like to see how Cliff & Mary spend my union dues. If this is the Cliff & Mary club I would like the Pres to call a special meeting just on this item. Please disclose the last 4 years of finances. We need a professional neg. not the ma & pa pow dunk operation that is going on in our Union. We have funds for what they are legitimately for to be used for Union neg. not their so called conferences. I agree they serve no benefit to us. Wake up, Cliff sold us out years ago and now the old man won't leave us alone Get a hobby Cliff and use your own cash.

discusted said...

Cliff the crusty old man. He and Mary only benefit, yes demand receipts and see what a fun exciting time the two of them are having with our HtA
dollars. two very self serving individuals.

Discusted teacher

Anonymous said...

Mr. Achramovitch is the lead negotiator for both sides of our HTA contract. We might as well give our union dues to Steve Achramovitch for doing such a good job for us. Maureen has no idea what to do nor does Scott. He is the administrative advocate. We are the fools for allowing Cliff to carry on so long, he is why we are at the bottom of the pay scale. Cliff took good care of himself and forgot about us. We need someone with brains and guts to stand up to Achramovitch.

HMS Teacher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Concerned, I am a Hamburg. The lady who is negotiating the contract is stupid. Plain and Simple.

no more to give said...

Situation only going to get worse. Administration grabbing it all