New Rochelle Employees Union Announces Tentative Contract with New Rochelle School District; 2-2.5% Pay Increase

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29F67974-057E-42F9-8E91-885919E53184.jpgNew Rochelle School District employees will receive an across the board pay increase of 2% next year and 2.5% in the following year under a tentative two-year contract announced today. Under the deal, if ratified by the rank and file, salary increases would be postponed until the second semester of each year. There would be be no increase in employee contributions to health insurance benefits.

There will be a union meeting at 3:30 and 4:30 PM on May 28th at Room 367 New Rochelle High School and a vote by secret ballot held on June 1st.

The Federation of United School Employees (F.U.S.E.) informed its members this morning of a tentative settlement in contract negotiations with the City School District of New Rochelle in a memo distributed to all union members. The deal also includes various stipends, paid holidays for clerical staff, increased overtime pay for maintenance workers, pay increases for coaches, elementary school teachers and event supervisors. F.U.S.E. also announced the "Separation Incentive Plan 2009", not part of the union contract but a plan that provides incentives for teachers to retire early which will become effective automatically if 15 requests for early retirement are received.

The memo from F.U.S.E. distributed today to union members dated May 20, the day after the school budget vote on May 19th which is sure to provide ammunition for school board critics who alleged during the so-called "budget workshop" board meetings that contract negotiations had already been completed prior to the vote and that a pay increase for district employees was already "baked" into the school budget. This claim was heatedly denied by New Rochelle Schools finance chief John Quinn but appears now to have been true. During budget workshops and board meetings in the weeks leading up to the vote, the school board pointedly evaded answering questions from New Rochelle residents as to the status of contract negotiations, denied charges that the contract was already a done deal and falsely asserted a claim that New York State law prohibited the school board and administration from publicly discussing ongoing union negotiations. There is no such law, as was made clear when Schools Chief Richard Organisciak told the Journal News a month before the school budget vote that there would be no pay cuts and no job cuts. Deidre Polow, a school board member who ran this year to retain her seat, made statements during the League of Women Voters Forum, which clearly indicated she knew the claims by the school board regarding public discussion of contract negotiations to be false.

F.U.S.E. represents all school district employees except for Superintendent Richard Organisciak and his Assistant Superintendent. Typical F.U.S.E. contracts have been for three years although the previous contract which included much larger pay increases was "rolled over" last year. The short-term contract agreed to this year suggests that the union anticipates going back into negotiations in 2011 with an eye towards making up for the reduced pay increases this time around.

LINKS:

FUSE May 20 2009 Tentative Contract Memo.pdf

NOTE: As soon as we can obtain a copy the separation agreement deal we will scan it and add it here.

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

Warren Gross on Wed, 05/27/2009 - 17:18

what a surprise! The district and union, collectively, I am sure maintained the illusion of "still at it" under collective bargaining until what they considered an appropriate time to announce a deal that is a huge disservice to the voters, a black mark against fairness in collective bargaining, and when compared to what other districts; most of whom are outperforming ours in terms of academic results, a disgrace.

Don't blame Daly for doing his job and securing the best deal possible for his rank and file. He wants to be re-elected and likely has greater ambitions as did Randi Weingarden in New York. You begin by blaming yourselves for not really going beyond the obvious "threat to the children" and seeing where your civic and personal responsibilities should lie. You never questioned for example, the reticence on the board's part to provide relevant data for you to decide where your vote would go. In fact, you never showed up at the polls; the weighted averages, if available, of those who voted, would likely be heavily skewed towards people in the system in some capacity; maybe teachers, other employees, pta members or just plain scared folks. You believed the hype about "secret negotiations." You never demanded that the union give back some of their outrageous prior successful negotiations in benefits or working conditions --- actually they got a raise, did you compute that yet --- a raise in a zero-inflation rate economy teetering on the most severe recession in decades.

You city critics-- where are you; persevorating over congestion, parking, traffic, apicella, trump, capelli, napersink, etc.. or armories, dog walks, etc. You are concerned about abatements and silent on property taxes even though the poor homeowner, shareholder, etc. is picking up the tab for 70% of the deal. Can you imagine what this district would do if they had a larger tax base to work with? Why haven't we heard from you. And, Mayor Bramso, Council men and women where the heck are you? Can you possibly, remotely, whisperingly even say publically that the negotiations should have led to a salary increase, that Oranisiciak meris a $13,000 or so increase in 2009, that there no union give-backs and only cosmetic ("turn out the lights"). Yes turn em out, the party is over for now, but be very very alert and very very on guard. Library trustees, we will not eat cake; rather we are going to be very vigilent about its uses and abuses and they are legion. School board, hyperbole about transparecy and participation, will be fact not fiction this year. Council men and woman, especially lower districts 1,2,3,4 -- be prpared to learn how to look at what is necessary to support the growth and development of this city and it begins with its biggest finanacial consumer and poorest managed entity, the school district. No more easy stuff about armories --- it is time to risk losing an election by taking a stand for the people, but rest assured your risk lessens each month people like Cox and others are on the job. the times are a changing.

I am saying that you need to find out why our kids are not getting the academic and other supportts they deserve. All of you should register at Great
Schools.Net on the web. Fine site... it tells you a hell of a lot of importanat information. Here is what hurts --- using a well researched and totally objective set of standards, our New Rochelle High School is rated 4. Ten is the highest rating. This is certainly not where we should be, the students deserve to be, and it is not suggestive of any merit increase for our bloated union contract and distict budget.
The ratings in Great Schools are not simply test ratings. You can read what these repesent by looking at http//www.greatschools.net/cgi-bin/showarticle/1023?cpn=20090526mss. This will help give you more context and understanding.

I am frankly angry and it is not at the kids. They are as good as the community makes them. In fact, there are quite a number of bright spots measured by improvements. I am not angry at the teachers. We will never really know how many feel the need to give someback back to a beleagered community. The vote will tell us much. Again, Daly is going his job. As Shakespeare put it, "the fault does not lie in the stars, it lies in us."

This community needs to decide if that is what it wants to be and galvanize around priorities. The district is a priority. I can tell you next year will be worse: we will climb out slowly from an inflation that will affect costs, but the labor market will not appreciably pick up. There is some optimism over home ownership, but many hurdles in terms of the perpetuity of the "first time buyer" funding and precisely what homes are actually being sold (lot of foreclosures to work through). But this is an hor d'ouevre compared to our crumbling infrastructure in terms of the district. And, if I am a city worker, a first responder, etc... and see the FUSE deal ... I would not count on the city being able to say, "we had no control over this" -- watch what happens.

Again, thank you Bob Cox, you are an irascible guy but indispensible.

warren gross

Anonymous on Wed, 05/27/2009 - 16:34

Our teachers are our most important commodity in the city! I think a 2% raise this year and 2.5% raise next year is a modest raise considering inflation is rising at an accelerated amount.

Warren Gross on Thu, 05/28/2009 - 21:22

no, the teachers are really not our most important commodity. you might rethink this if your house catches fire, you are assaulted or robbed, your garbage is not picked up and so on. yes teachers are important, but so are so many other occupations. You really should carefully check out the union contract, the salary and benefits, the working hours, so many other things then look carefully at what other union members and non-union members are doing over the past few years to support their community and nation. so many of them understand the need for renegotiation, give-backs.... frankly, I don't think you understand the economics involved here -- bob cox has explained it carefully and well despite a lot of personal barbs and insults thrown his way. we haven't really looked at the explosion of medical costs in society and how these costs threaten our national economic structure and will inevitably lead to either socialized medicine, massive changes in medicare and medicaid, etc... and responsible unions and unionmembers known they need to play a part to help turn this around. if they don't..... it will be catastropic.

do you really believe in your heart of hearts that this union should not step forward and do their part to help the parents of the children by helping ease the tax burden? do you really think that there is so much national and state money that it can be drawn down upon with reckless abandon by this one cost center? And do you not question a board that did not open negotiations on demanding member contributions toward their health and welfare plans or who took their superintendent aside and asked him for a give-back on his "contractual" increase?

No, they used the arrogant, unfeeling arguments such as "suck it up"," we really wish we had more state money", or feigning false empathy for the burdened taxpayer.

Look you may think that people like me are unreasonable, angry, or anti-child. Far from the truth at least where I am concerned. I believe in fair play and sacrifice and I strongly believe in openness and community support and service and try to do this in my private life. I believe we have a core of fine teachers, a reasonable number of dedicated admiinistrative and principal staff, and a body of wonderful kids from all parts of the city who deserve the best we have and who need to understand shared sacrifice, accountablity, and fair dealing in a society that values these attributes less and less.

I hope no supporter of the school budget turns his or her back on the first responders, for example, who stand up for a decent wage at contract time. They don't have the good fortune of a political and social stream fighting for them or a district, board, and union leadership who are joined at the hip.

Oh yes, in case it wasn't clear we are at zero or negative inflation and that is what the district tax demand should have been especially if this contract was properly bargained and not signed, sealed and delivered weeks or months earlier.

Warren Gross

spjw on Thu, 05/28/2009 - 22:31

one word comes to mind, fulough.I think a couple of months off w/ out pay.Would help.

Anonymous on Wed, 05/27/2009 - 17:43

Fair!I don't doubt they are good teachers but we are only asking that they sacrifice this one year and not take any increase at all.They have been getting substantially higher increases for many years. My regret is that I did not apply for a job in the New Rochelle school district. I would not be out of work today and I would have gotten a 2.5% raise too.

Anonymous on Wed, 05/27/2009 - 17:38

when you break it down we are only getting 1% the first year and 1 1/4 % the second year because are raises don't come into effect until Jan. 1. Do you think that it is fair for the teachers, who are teaching our kids or are you just looking at your taxes going up?

Anonymous on Fri, 05/29/2009 - 10:42

Greed is the driving force!

Greed is the driving force behind the above comment. Whether it’s 1%, 1¼%, 2% or 2.5% makes no difference because it should have been ZERO. We have a system whereby teachers are encouraged to slack after receiving tenure because unless they shoot themselves in the foot they cannot be fired. Teachers pay nothing towards their health and retirement benefits, work less then 200 days per year and have the summer to relax or work a second full time job. All this and one would think the teachers would be willing to share the pain in these challenging times but they want a raise. It’s not only the teachers; it’s the school system when you consider that Organaschac took a $13,000 raise. The greed is most evident in the fact that similar positions in the city administration pay 10% to 15% less. It’s time to stop the pigs from feeding at the trough.

Anonymous on Sat, 05/30/2009 - 17:19

There are other members of F. U. S.E , it's not a teacher only union, there are mechanics, tradesman, custodians, security officers etc. That's alot of people not getting raises.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Fri, 05/29/2009 - 15:36

I would gladly trade a pay increase double what is in the tentative contract if the school district would get rid of the surplus teachers, staff and administrators currently on the district payroll.

Mr. Organisciak said the district employs 2,200 people for a school system with 11,500 students enrolled. Think about that! There is one employee for every 5 students. And this does not count "outsourced" employees whether they be lawyers, contract workers, temps, BOCES, cooking school teachers, etc.

The District is perfectly happy to have a debate over whether or not teacher's salaries are too high or whether maintenance staff get too much overtime because they have ready answers for that and can swat down any argument. They will talk about "fairness" and the need to be competitive with other school districts in Westchester. For the maintenance staff they will talk about emergencies and unforeseeable "calamities" like snowfall.

The issue is not whether teacher's salaries are too high but whether we actually need as many teachers as are on the payroll.

The district was able to "reassign" 13 full-time teachers to the new full-day kindergarten program. People should be asking: reassign from where? Where are these 13 teachers today and how can it be they do so little that they can be taken away from their current duties and reassigned. The total cost to the district of carrying these 13 teachers this year was about $1 mm.

There is also the issue of improperly enrolled students. After disputing claims here that there are hundreds of students enrolled in New Rochelle schools that do not live here, Ms. Polow at the LWV forum proceeded to rant on and on about how 60-90 students a year ARE removed from the schools and that in some case students are ALLOWED to be enrolled in the school even when they do not live in New Rochelle because the Superintendent gave them a waiver for person reasons such as joint custody situations. By her own math, over the past 5 years the district has found and removed 300 to 450 students and there is some unspecified number who are given waivers. Yet, the district stridently objects when school board candidates point to Mount Vernon which found 816 wrong enrolled students and call for a similar residency investigation to determine the full extent of the problem in New Rochelle. After claiming the problem does not exist, Ms. Polow now admits that there have been hundreds of students wrongly enrolled which raises series questions about the process by which students are enrolled in the first place. Whether the number is 300, 450 or 800, the fact is that the District has a history of wrongly enrolled students so to attack residents who raise this issue at board meetings is demagoguery plain and simple.

Let's get off losing arguments like debating 2% pay increases which involves less than $2.5 mm and focus on whether we have 100 teachers and related staff we do not need, 50 clerical staff we do not need 50 maintenance staff we do not need. Eliminating 100-200 unnecessary positions is worth tens of millions of dollars and savings and has a long-term benefit of reducing pension liabilities.

Anonymous on Sat, 05/30/2009 - 12:13

Cox; stop bullying public opinions. While you are an educated man you are far from perfect. While your points are valid so are others. Greed is a major factor whether it’s a raise or feeding friends and family at the public trough. Removing excess staff would be a major savings but all savings count! My grandmother taught me to take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves. Instead of being holier then thou acknowledge valid opinions even if they are less “worthy” in your world. Last I checked you can’t walk on water!

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Sat, 05/30/2009 - 13:28

As you are posting anonymously I have no idea who you are or why anyone should care what you think but it is certainly not true that all arguments are worthwhile. Arguments that are fallacious, based on untruths or otherwise unsound are not "worthwhile". Some arguments are self-serving, illogical or just plain stupid and should be dismissed out-of-hand.

In this particular case, I commented on a post about greed being a driving factor in the tentative contract. I did not disagree with the "argument" and I am not dismissing it. It is not necessarily false or stupid. It may even be true. My concern is in addressing the core issue: the union manipulating the system to drive up spending to unsustainable levels not only within a particular budget period but long-term in the form of unfunded pension liabilities. What is happening with GM is a case in point. It is my view that the "they are greedy" is not a line of argument likely to carry the day. While it may well be the case, it is entirely subjective and goes to the state of mind of the union and its members and therefore not a fact-based argument.

In either case, it is not "bullying" to express my view or challenge someone else's point of view. The name of the site is TALK of the Sound. We have an active comments section for a reason; so commentary and debate can take place. To that extent this is a marketplace of ideas and in that sort of marketplace the fact that you, me or anyone else expresses a particular point of view on a topic does not require that everyone else buy what is being sold.

You seem overly concerned with the question of whether or not I or anyone else should have the right to respond to someone else's comment and label that "bullying". Nonsense. That this site offers you a forum to express your view does not entitle you to a particular response. If you believe that the union is being greedy than make the case for that instead of just uttering a claim and then expecting your verbal ejaculation to be accepted as received wisdom.

Anonymous on Tue, 06/02/2009 - 10:27

As usual you (Cox) pass judgment and disregard posts that don't bow down and agree with yours. Half of the posts that challenge you never make the blog as you censure them because they expose you for what you are; a loud mouth bully who believes he has all the answers. This site could be so much better with no effort if you print all posts. I realize anonymous posts must be proofed due to language and content but censure based on opinion goes against the transparency you mandate from others. Some anonymous posts are moles; some are wise guys but most are timid people who are not comfortable with public identification but have something to offer, aka the silent majority, who have found a way to join the discussion. Encourage more posts to increase credibility.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Tue, 06/02/2009 - 13:01

Posts are not "censured" or even censored here. Posts from registered commenters are appear without moderation. Anonymous comments must be manually approved. What you cannot see the amount of "comment spam" that comes to the site because we allow anonymous comments. For every comment from a real person this sites gets hundreds of anonymous comments. Most of those are filtered but many actually get through and must be combed through to be weeded out. The remained of the anonymous comments are approved based on my editorial discretion.

If you do not want to be subject to my editorial discretion than simply register.

Anonymous on Wed, 05/27/2009 - 21:02

It's a good thing you work in New Rochelle otherwise you really would be upset if you worked in another city or town that had lay offs and no raises. It is unfair to me as a taxpayer that I must have my taxes go up during this economic crisis. Unfortunately, my salary will not be increased. In the real world we get pay cuts.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Wed, 05/27/2009 - 19:49
Title: Nice Math!

When you defer the first in a series of two raises by a few months you don't cut the rate in half for year one and year two. But nice try!

I also like the way you frame the question as a debate between "fairness" to teachers and people concerned with their "taxes going up". So, people either agree with you or they are selfish. By that token, the money people earn is really YOUR money and you let them keep some of it. Interesting logic.

As to "fairness", do you really believe that teachers in New Rochelle are treated unfairly? Last time I checked, they are among he highest paid public school teachers in the world; they also get generous benefits and an extraordinary pension plan. Many get paid very nice six figures salaries for working three-quarter days for three-quarter years.

The issue, however, is not "fairness" or "taxes" but deceit. The school board and administration was asked many, many times over the past two months about the status of the union negotiations and specifically why the district could not work to complete the negotiations before the budget vote. Now we find that the memo announcing the tentative contract was published less than 24 hours after the polls closed. I don't blame the teachers or the union for that but rather the school board and the administration.

The person who chaired meeting after meeting with the public and lied over and over again is Cindy Babcock-Deutsch. Happily for voters, she is up for election next May and they will get to express their "appreciation" for being lied to by her for the past several months.

Anonymous on Fri, 05/29/2009 - 03:08

Our new contract starts July1 we don't get our raises till Jan. 1 that's 6 months in my book,

Anonymous on Fri, 05/29/2009 - 20:38

...or a Language Arts teacher.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Fri, 05/29/2009 - 16:37

I don't think much of your book when it says that delaying a raise by six months means you cut the amount of the raise in two. Getting a 2% raise then a 2.5% raise but having the raise deferred for six months does not mean that the raise is actually 1% and 1.25%.

Let me see if I can explain this to you in the simplest possible terms so that even you can follow it.

You have a teacher making $100,000 on June 30, 2009.

The new contract starts on July 1, 2009 and they are still making $100,000

On Jan. 1, 2010 they get a 2% raise so they are now making $102,000.

On Jan. 1, 2011 they get a 2.5% raise so they are now making $104,550

On June 30, 2011 the contract ends with the teacher making $104,550 which becomes the base salary for the next contract.

The effect of the contract is to raise the teachers salary by a total of 4.55%.

In terms of cash in pocket the teacher gets a total of $100,000/2 for 6 months, then $102,000 for 12 months and then $104,550/2 for 6 months or...

$50,000 + $102,000 + $52,275 = $204,275. for an EFFECTIVE increase of 4.275% over two years or, if you want to take a simple average which does not concern itself with the investment rate, 2.14% per year. Without the delay, the simple average would 2% + 2.5% = 2.25% per year so the effect of the delay is to decrease the average effective salary increase by 2.25% minus 2.14% for a total of .11%.

So, the effect of the delay is to reduce the effective increase by a little over 1/10th of a percent not to cut it by 50% as you have claimed.

At the same time, whatever increase is negotiated 2 years from now will be applied to that salary of $104,550 as will pension benefits so although the delay decreases the effective increase the base salary it has no impact at all on the salary upon which future increases will be based.

Now, according to you the raise is really only 1% and 1.25% because you are cutting it in half because it is delayed by a few months (6 to be precise).

Under your scenario this is the same as a 1% raise on July 1, 2009 followed a year later by a 1.25% raise a year later. Let's see how that works.

The same teacher is making $100,000 on June 30, 2009.

The teacher gets a 1% raise to $101,000 on July 1, 2009.

A year later, on July 1, 2010 the teacher gets a 1.25% raise which comes out to be $102,263 or a 2.26% increase.

So, you are understating the amount of the raise by about half and understating the new base salary going into the next contract by over $2,000.

If you STILL think what you have claimed makes sense then vote against the tentative contract and let's make a new deal where we give this teacher a $2,500 cash bonus and a zero percent increase. According to you claims that is a better deal for the teacher in this scenario, right?

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Wed, 05/27/2009 - 17:34

Nice try! Now let's try some facts.

The inflation rate has been NEGATIVE so far in 2009.

http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/current-inflation-rates/

As you can see the inflation rate for the past six months has been:

Nov 2008 +1.1%
Dec 2008 +0.1%
Jan 2009 0.0%
Feb 2009 +0.2%
Mar 2009 -0.4%
Apr 2009 -0.7%
May 2009 -1.0% (forecast)

If you look at what economic forecasters expect, they are calling for continued DECLINES in inflation (i.e. deflation) through until this fall and expect it remain negative throughout the year, hitting a low of -2.0% in September.

http://forecasts.org/inflation.htm

In a deflationary environment a pay freeze is a real increase in pay so getting a 2% increase when inflation is negative 2% is like getting a 4% pay increase. Of course, pay increases under the F.U.S.E. contract have never tracked inflation (they have been far in excess of inflation) but the a REAL increase in wages for 4% is not a significant change from past years where raises were 6-9% when inflation was 3-5%.

This says nothing about STEPS where every year 1/3 of all teachers will get an additional raise, plus the new summer OT deal, the new stipends for elementary school teachers, the increases for coaches, extra-curricular and co-curricular activities and "event pay".

Teachers are certainly important to our community but this contract is VERY generous considering the economic situation. It might actually have been a good deal if it was locked in for a longer period of time because we may well see high inflation down the road as all the government spending makes its way into the economy over the next 18 months but by then a new round of contract talks will have begun and, of course, the union will demand huge increases to outpace inflation.

Anonymous on Thu, 05/28/2009 - 01:52

Nice use of statistics. Using the same chart the average inflation rate for last year 2008 was 3.80.
Taking the year as a whole and using some of your numbers the inflation rate per month goes like this:
Jan 08 4.3%
Feb 08 4.0%
Mar 08 4.0%
April 08 3.9%
Let's not bother using those numbers because they are over a year old. The next batch of stats is within the last twelve months.
May 08 4.2%
June 08 5.0%
July 08 5.6%
Aug 5.4%
Sept 4.9%

Here's where your chart starts, funny how it only shows the lowest points of inflation and not whole story.
Nov 08 1.1%
Dec 08 0.1%
Jan 09 0.0%
Feb 09 0.2%
Mar 09 -0.4%
Apr 09 -0.7%
I added your numbers to be fair if your going to use the information don't skew it.
I'm all for both sides of the story but tell it like it is.
Pisticci

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Thu, 05/28/2009 - 16:31
Title: Deflation

Pisticci,

You are being absurd. There is nothing "funny" about showing the level of inflation starting in November 2008. Do you even READ the newspapers? Have you even heard of the global economic crisis? Jeez, wake up!

There is a perfectly good reason to measure the level of inflation AFTER October 2008. In case you are not aware there was a significant series of financial events in the fall of 2008. Let's see if I can refresh your memory with a few of the lowlights:

9/7/08 - FNMA and FHLMC are taken over by the government

9/14/08 - Lehman Brothers announces Bankruptcy; Merrill Lynch sold at a firesale price to Bank of America

9/16/08 - AIG liquidity crisis due to credit-default swaps

9/18/08 - Electronic bank run as $550 billion pulled from U.S. banks in period of 2 hours.

9/19/08 - TARP proposed by SecTreas;; President says situation could be worse than the Great Depression

9/21/08 - The two remaining investment banks (GoldmanSachs, MorganStanely) convert to bank holding companies

9/25/08 - Washington Mutual, the nation's largest S&L is seized by FDIC

10/2/08 - Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 signed into law by the President.

10/6/08 - Dow Jones drops 777 points, largest point decline ever

By mid-October, commodities have collapsed. The NYT reports (http://tinyurl.com/4z44dq)

"The global financial panic and the economic slowdown have put at least a temporary end to the commodity bull market of the last seven years, sending prices tumbling for many of the raw ingredients of the world economy. Since the spring and early summer, when prices for many commodities peaked amid fears of permanent shortage, wheat and corn — two cereals at the base of the human food chain — have dropped more than 40 percent. Oil has dropped 44 percent. Metals like aluminum, copper and nickel have declined by a third or more.

Get it?

There is the world before the global economic crisis and after the global economic crisis. Since September/October 2008, we are in a new world of economic contraction (negative GDP) and deflation (negative inflation). This is not some "trick" to criticize the district for agreeing to across the board pay increases. The simple fact is that we are in the midst of a deflationary, economic contraction of historic dimensions where trillions of dollars in wealth have been destroyed and the crisis has yet to hit bottom. The problem is getting WORSE not better.

AP: Foreclosure woes mount for those with good credit
http://tinyurl.com/ohlyd8

"A record 12 percent of homeowners with a mortgage are behind on their payments or in foreclosure as the housing crisis spreads to borrowers with good credit. And the wave of foreclosures isn't expected to crest until the end of next year, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Thursday."

NYT: U.S. Home Sales Remain Sluggish as Supply Soars
http://tinyurl.com/q69che

"A glut of unsold homes continued to grow last month, fed by a new wave of foreclosures, even though sales of existing homes rose, a national real estate trade association said Wednesday. The National Association of Realtors reported that the inventory of unsold houses, townhouses and condominiums rose to 3.97 million in April, the highest level since November. At the current rate of sales, it would take 10.2 months to exhaust those unsold properties."

Let's just hope, to borrow from Churchill, that this is not the end or even the beginning of the end but, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

Anonymous on Wed, 05/27/2009 - 20:17

And those same economic forcasters sure did see the economic meltdown of 2007 till now! Hyperinflation is going to price you out of westchester buster.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Wed, 05/27/2009 - 20:29

I take it you do not have a comeback, right?

I know it is tough for you to have a discussion based on facts and actual data but let me explain that the past six months of inflation data is not a forecast. It is not a prediction that the stock market is down about 6,000 points from its highs or that the value of homes in New Rochelle are down almost 30% since 2005. It is not theory that GDP growth has been negative since last year. Chrysler and GM really are going out of business. Reality bites.

Anonymous on Wed, 05/27/2009 - 21:17

MILK and OIL are starting to rise at an extremely quick pace. That is called INFLATION! Prices of homes in New Rochelle are not down 30% cox, that is a lie and just plain stupid. What are down in New Rochelle are the number of sales. Actually New Rochelle has held the prices of most of their sales. The only home prices which have come down are foreclosures, but now those are starting to be bid higher at a very quick rate.

Ilovenr2 on Thu, 05/28/2009 - 02:56
Title: home prices

I don't know about you. But I recently had my house appraised, the value is down $150,000, from the last time I had it appraised in 2005.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Thu, 05/28/2009 - 01:14

How stupid of me. I forget to check the famous Milk-Oil Index in the Wall Street Journal. I can see right there that Milk Futures have been skyrocketing.

Now back to reality again for a moment.

Drop in milk prices continues downward cycle for farms
http://tinyurl.com/r64x4b

"...economic turmoil that has seen milk prices drop significantly in January -- reportedly one of the largest drops in 50 years."

Oops. Milk prices are not going up they are going down. In fact, they are going down ALOT!

Meanwhile, deep in the heart of Texas we have some oil price data to consider. As I am sure you know, the U.S. Department of Energy has price information on West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil, the U.S. benchmark for oil prices.

The DOE publishes a Short-Term Energy Outlook (http://www.eia.doe.gov/steo):

"The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil is expected to remain relatively flat for the remainder of 2009, averaging about $55 per barrel over the second half of 2009. Assuming a modest economic improvement next year, WTI prices are expected to average about $58 in 2010."

Here is some average pricing data.

WTI Crude

2007 - $72.32/barrel)
2008 - $99.57/barrel)
2009 - $51.70/barrel)
2010 - $57.75/barrel)

In case you are having trouble puzzling that out, what the data shows is that oil prices are the lowest they have been in years. Oil is 60% lower than the highs reached in 2008. The closing price for WTI today was $60.00/barrel which is inline with projections based on weaker global demand due to the economic downturn.

As for Real Estate values, you don't measure home values for a region or municipality by leaving out all the distressed properties. The entire story about the collapse in home values has been due to price declines associated with foreclosures -- initially due to people defaulting on loans they could not afford to begin with and more recently due to job losses caused by the economic downturn. New Rochelle has NOT "held the prices" established in 2005, not "most", not "any". As far as foreclosed properties being "bid higher" if by more than zero then you have a good point otherwise this is all nonsense.

I would like to think that people who work for the District are not this ignorant about economics so I am going to hope you are just a troll pretending to be a district employee.

Anonymous on Tue, 06/02/2009 - 01:21
Title: Cox

I am not fond of you in the least Mr. Cox. But I am honest. You have found your niche. Without the extreme sides of information, we could not have a legitimate middle ground. I do not like your views, but I understand the need for them. Freedom of the press (both sides) brings balance. I hate to admit it, but you bring balance. Unsettling, but balance none the less.