The this afternoon approved a new four-year contract for the district's .
Just a day before Port Chester High School's graduation, the long-running negotiations concluded with voting by the teachers and the school board on the pact. The two sides hit an impasse earlier this year and a state mediator was requested.
The school voted this afternoon to approve a Memorandum of Agreement with the Port Chester Teachers Association, effective July 1, 2011. The PCTA membership ratified the agreement today in voting at 1 p.m.
The agreement represents a financial package that is less than that guaranteed by the Triborough Amendment to the Taylor Law. The PCTA also provided a significant concession in health insurance benefits.
According to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edward A. Kliszus, the agreement will save the District about $1 million in the 2012-2013 budget year alone as compared to the raises and benefits under the previous agreement. The agreement also includes provisions for classroom teacher evaluations that are in compliance with the state-mandated Annual Professional Performance Review initiative.
The key elements of the agreement include:
- A 0.5% annual salary increase for the last three years of the contract, 2012-13 through 2014-15
- A five-month delay on step and lane changes (salary reclassification due respectively to longevity or college credits earned).
- The salary increases are not retroactive to the 2011-12 school year.
In addition, PCTA members will join the administrators and civil service employees in migrating their health insurance from the more expensive Aetna and Oxford plans to SWSCHP (State-Wide Schools Cooperative Health Plan) or maintain the more expensive carrier and pay the additional costs.
Meetings between the two sides lasted18 months.
“The PCTA has once again demonstrated its commitment to the children of our District," said School Board President Blanca Lopez, who was chair of the board’s negotiating team. "The savings resulting from this new agreement will help us preserve important educational programming and help mitigate the adverse effects of the tax cap levy and inadequate state aid. We are especially pleased that we are now able to re-hire most of the teachers excessed due to the tax levy cap.”
Kliszus cited Lopez for her work in the negotiations.
“I want to thank everyone for their diligent efforts in reaching this agreement,” said Kliszus, “but I want to especially thank Ms. Lopez for her focused leadership and vision over the many months of complex and challenging negotiations.”