Saginaw teachers take a 2-percent pay cut

It's a 2-percent salary rollback across the board---from the superintendent's office to the teachers. District officials and union officials say these cuts are necessary to keep the district from going into the red.

â??Itâ??s important for sustainability purposes,â?? says Dr. Kelley Peatross, assistant superintendent for the Saginaw school district. â??Our district has a deficit currently,â?? she adds.

That deficit is more than $5 million.

â??Thatâ??s actually growing because of the loss of students and also because of the acquisition of the Buena Vista property,â?? says Sue Rutherford who represents the Saginaw Teachers Union.

In addition to the salary rollback, the school district pink-slipped seven staff members--including two teachers.

â??A couple of weeks prior, we did have some layoffs and we will continue to look at our numbers,â?? says Peatross.

The 400 hundred teachers also paying more for health insurance--24-percent more a month.

â??The two-percent salary roll back and the amount of money they're paying for insurance will save the district roughly $1.3 million this school year")

â??They shouldn't be cutting these paychecks,â?? says Wendell Johnson, a parent. â??These teachers are like a parent, really. They're working hard like we're working with the kids out here,â?? he adds.

â??We continue to monitor our finances and we are downward spending,â?? says Peatross.

â??There's going to be a point when they're not going to be able to give any more money back,â?? says Rutherford.

The pay cuts could go into effect before the end of this year.