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S-G settles teacher contract

BOE approves two-year deal, savings estimated at $76K

Union contracts can create lengthy negotiations; but the Scotia-Glenville Board of Education approved a new two-year contract with the district Teachers' Association on time.

The Board of Education unanimously approved a new two-year contract with the teachers' union on Monday, June 27. The contract for the 237 teachers holds a 1 percent salary increase in the 2011-12 school year and no cost-of-living salary increase the following school year. Teachers not receiving a step increase for years on the job will receive a $500 payment in 2012-13. The contract also holds an estimated savings of $76,000 from switching employees out of two HMO insurance plans after the salary increases.

The previous contract was a four-year contract (in effect from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2011) but the newly approved contract is shorter due to unknown effects of the newly adopted property tax cap, which was passed on Friday, June 24. The Scotia-Glenville Teachers' Association membership approved the contract on June 17.

"I think that in the uncertainty of the time, we were interested in settling quickly, but for a shorter amount of time as we wait to see what happens with the property tax cap," said Superintendent Susan Swartz.

Teachers Association President Eric DeCarlo could not be reached for comment.

There are many "unanswered questions," said Swartz, and district officials still need to read the fine print and see how the tax cap will affect the district. The 2011-12 budget approved by district voters attempted to prepare for such a cap, which held a tax levy increase of 1.57 percent and reduced spending by about $250,000 when compared to the 2010-11 budget.

Some details are still unclear to her too, such as if the cap can be removed if 60 percent of the registered voters in a district vote in support of removing the cap, or if only a 60 percent of the voting majority is needed.

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