Lunch monitor protests cuts, II

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The planned half hour workday cut to lunch monitors in the 2011-2012 New Hyde Park-Garden City Park budget was met with protest at Monday’s board of education meeting by New Hyde Park resident and lunch monitor Karen Hugli

Hugli had voiced her opposition to the plan in an earlier board of education meeting last month, and expressed her outrage towards the plan at last night’s meeting.

“We didn’t deserve the way in which this was done,” said Hugli. “I don’t know where the loyalty is – these girls have been very loyal.”

Hugli said some of the lunch monitors have been working at the district since their children were in elementary school, and have now gone off to college.

The cut will equal out to lunch monitors losing $1000 a year out of their pocket, according to Hugli.

School officials said in an earlier meeting that the half-cuts would save the district approximately $40,000.

“We are losing all this money, and I don’t know what you expect these girls to do,” Hugli said.

Hugli went on to accuse the board of not giving herself and the aides an advanced notice for the change, and flat out accused New Hyde Park-Garden City Park Superintendent of schools Robert Katulak of not helping find a way to save the 30 minutes from the lunch monitor cuts.

“We asked Katulak to help find another solution to keep their 30 minutes,” Hugli said. “No one looked for a solution, and no one thought to save it.”

Board member Patricia Rudd responded to Hugli by stating that no jobs were lost.

“We took everything into consideration.” Rudd said. “We did all that we could to save jobs.”

After the meeting Rudd explained that everything had been on the table since the beginning of the budget talks.

“We have had discussions in public over and over again about the budget for the last three months, Rudd said.

Another accusation made by Hugli was that of board salaries, and how their increases was sure to be in tact, which prompted a quick respond from board member David Del Santo.

“Do you know what a trustee salary is,” Del Santo asked Hugli, to which Hugli had no answer.

Board of education members are a volunteer service and are not paid.

Hugli concluded her conversation with the board by simply stating “Thanks for nothing,” as she received applause from a portion of the audience.

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