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SCOTIA: Board OKs pay boost

The Scotia-Glenville Teachers Association agreed to a four-year contract that increases spending on educators' salaries by 4.3 percent, increases elementary instruction time and improves health insurance offerings.

The board of education met with the teachers association at the Monday, Oct. 22, meeting to complete and approve the contract by a vote of 6-to-1, with board member Ben Conlon opposing.

Superintendent Susan Swartz said she feels the contract is fair to all parties involved, including taxpayers.

We are very happy to have arrived at a contract with our instructional staff, which is doing the very important work of educating our children every day. This is a fair contract for our educators and for the taxpayers of our community, said Swartz.

The agreement is in place until June 30, 2011, and is retroactive to July 1.

The increases include an average 1.4 percent "step" increase. According to the district's communications director, every teacher in the state receives a step increase for every year of service up to the top step of a contract. After reaching the top step, there are no more increases. The top step in the district is 23; after that, only negotiated salary increases are made.

The new teachers contract will increase spending by 4.33 percent in the 2007-2008 school year; 3.9 percent in the 2008-2009 school year; 4.05 percent in the 2009-2010 school year; and 3.93 percent in the 2010-2011 school year.

"I'm very pleased we were able to reach an agreement that meets the needs of the teachers and the district. I hope we can build on the momentum gained in negotiations to work collaboratively with the district to continue to raise student achievement," said Eric DeCarlo, president of the Scotia-Glenville Teachers Association.

Last May, the board proposed a $44.57 million budget to voters. In this approved 2007-2008 budget, close to $14 million goes to teacher's salaries.

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