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Guilderland teachers contract approved

Decreased raises in coming two years said to save $840k

— After a year with no contract in place, the Guilderland Central School District and its teachers have come to an agreement.

The new three-year agreement is said to save the district about $1.1 million. The new contract ends a bargaining process that began in December of 2010, according to school officials.

“We are so appreciative of the work that went into approving this contract,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marie Wiles in a statement. “Our teachers are the cornerstone of the district, and their willingness to work with district leaders to settle on a contract that includes concessions only proves their commitment to the children and families of the Guilderland Central School District.”

The Guilderland Board of Education ratified the agreement with the Guilderland Teachers Association at a special meeting held on Thursday, June 21. The 481 members of the GTA ratified the agreement the next day.

The district will save money because the contract allows for decreased step payments for years on the job in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years, resulting in about $840,000 in savings over the previous agreement. The district is also decreasing the number of English teachers at the high school by giving a fifth course to each teacher retained. This will save an additional $280,000.

According to Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Lin Seberance, the contract calls for no change in the salary schedule from the 2010-11 school year and the 2011-12 school year, meaning the teachers who receive step raises will not have their previous salaries changed. Teachers who have been at the district more than 23 years and who no longer receive step raises in pay, will receive delayed step salary increase for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years.

GTA members eligible for increases on the salary schedule will now get them mid-year on Feb. 1 in 2013 and 2014. Normally, teachers would receive their raise for the entire year beginning in September. Seberance said by obtaining the raises later in the year, the district saves more money on employee pay.

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