Coffee pot: $32. Keeping your job: priceless — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Coffee pot: $32. Keeping your job: priceless

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Under pressure to meet a shrinking budget, The Van Buren Public School District recently notified teachers that it would charge a fee for keeping small appliances in their classrooms. Teachers will have to pay $13 for a microwave, $32 for a coffee pot and $182 for a mini-fridge.

In an interview with The Detroit News, Linda Lewis, president of the teachers’ union, compared the fees to “using a teaspoon to bail out the Titanic.”

District officials hoped the move would save $15,000 annually on electricity, small change compared to the $2 million budget shortfall. Still, the union has agreed to go along with the charges, considering that larger cost-cutting measures are considerably more painful.

Pat Matkovic, a fifth-grade teacher at Edgemont Elementary School, said, “I don’t think it’s going to make a difference for the district, but it’s going to make people who already feel bad feel even worse.”

The district laid off 24 teachers in the fall, and said it may have to lay off nine more in January. 

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