MAMARONECK—The Board of Education and the Mamaroneck Teachers Association have reached a contract agreement that covers the five academic years from 2011 through 2016.
The negotiations, which lasted more than 16 months includes a wage freeze for two years and an increase in the teachers’ contribution toward healthcare.
Here’s a letter the BOE sent to the community:
In the end, the Board was able to achieve our four main goals:
1. Significantly slow down the growth of wage and benefit costs and achieve immediate savings
To that end, the wage package agreed to by the parties is as follows:
2011/12 0% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), with a non-recurring payment of $1,000 for those staff members on the top step of the salary schedule;
2012/13 0% COLA as well as increment/step freeze for the entire school year;
2013/14 0% COLA as well as increment/step freeze for the entire school year;
2014/15 2% COLA to the salary schedule with increment to be granted to eligible staff members;
2015/16 2% COLA to the salary schedule with increment to be granted to eligible staff members.
The average annual Cost of Living Adjustment in the upcoming contract term is approximately 0.8%, which is significantly less than the 3.8% average annual Cost of Living Adjustment over the four year period governed by the last contract. In addition, the MTA agreed to increase its members’ health insurance contribution to 8% by the last year of the agreement.
2. Deliver long-term savings to the District well into the future in light of the tax cap environment
This goal was achieved through two key components of the new contract:
a) Step freezes for the 2012/13 and 2013/14 school years that restrict the growth of base salaries for all current staff members well into the future; and
b) Elimination of a contractual retirement recognition payment amounting to 25% of each retiring teacher’s salary, beginning in 2013/14 for all new hires. These recognition payments have cost the District over $1.5 million in the last three years alone.
3. Increase efficiency in the delivery of services
This goal was achieved by the elimination of a contract provision that required a 2/3 vote of the secondary level faculty before any schedule change could be implemented. This crucial change will allow for creative and flexible scheduling, enabling us to improve instruction and save money.
4. Do all of the above while simultaneously enhancing the educational program
We achieved this goal through two key measures:
a) The new contract will result in increased teacher contact with students beginning next school year. On the secondary level, student instructional time will be increased by up to 20 minutes per day at Hommocks Middle School and up to 15 minutes per day at the High School. At the elementary level, student contact time will be increased by 30 minutes per week. These changes will increase direct instructional time for students by several days per school year.
b) A new evaluation process that will enable teachers to receive appropriate support, guidance and supervision in performing their job responsibilities, ensuring that our district continues to have the very best teachers to educate our children.
As we all know, the world of education has changed as our nation has struggled in a crippling economic downturn. Many of the terms in our prior contract were negotiated years ago, in a different economic time, and were proving excessively costly and/or limiting our ability to think creatively about the optimal way to deliver instruction. We were fortunate to be able to work as partners with the MTA to address these issues in a respectful and constructive manner.
We are grateful to the members of the MTA for their professionalism, hard work, unyielding dedication to the children of this district, and for their understanding and appreciation of the changing times that have called for tough choices. With their support, we have been able to address escalating costs, preserve the educational excellence for which our district is known, and ensure a bright future for our children.
Mamaroneck Board of Education
Nancy Pierson, President