The School Board approved sending a proposed teacher contract for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017 to the voters as a warrant article on the March ballot.
“Negotiations with the Teacher Union were very productive and went very quickly,” Vice Chairman Nancy Hendricks reported at the Board’s Nov. 18 meeting. “Everyone wanted to communicate with each other and put their cards on the table. There were never any huge areas of tension where people were unwilling to talk.”
The total loaded cost on the ballot will be $1.1 million in the first year of the contract, and $1.2 million in year two.
About 384 people are in the bargaining unit.
The salary scale for the two-year contract calls for an average increase of 3.8 percent for both FY16 and FY17, according to Hendricks.
Co-Curricular and coaching stipends will receive a 1.5 percent increase in each year of the proposed contract, and new wording was added to the portion of the contract regarding teachers’ sick bank.
Hendricks said teachers will receive up to $675 for nonuse of sick leave, with the amount to decrease by $225. The contract represents an increase of $75 for non-use of sick leave. Bereavement will now include the parent of an employee’s child, niece or nephew.
Additionally, the Board will establish a graduate level tuition reimbursement pool with a balance of $10,000 at the beginning of each school year.
The pool is to be used to reimburse employees for the cost of any graduate level tuition that exceeds the $2,500 limitation set forth in the contract, up to a total reimbursement of $3,000 per course, per employee.
According to Hendricks, an employee may apply in writing (starting May 1 to May 15 each year of the contract) to the superintendent for additional education re-imbursement funds, as available. To the extent the requests for additional reimbursement exceed the $10,000 budgeted, the funds will be pro-rated.
“I’m very happy professional improvement came up and we reached an agreement on that,” Hendricks said. “This District really supports professional development and advancing one’s degree.”
In other business:
Superintendent Nate Greenberg announced enrollment is at 4,420 students, up nine students from the District’s September enrollment.