Friday, July 13, 2007
New three-year contract approved for CCHS teachers
The Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC) voted to ratify a new three-year teachers contract at the June 26 meeting. Teachers will receive basic salary increases of between 3% and 11%. Regional Business Manager John Flaherty read through the "Memorandum of Agreement," which details changes that were made to the previous contract, which will help to "improve the attractiveness of the high school and improve starting pay," he explained. The areas of the contract that have the most significant changes deal with salaries, sick leave buy back and professional development.
Teachers' salaries are based on a number of factors including years of experience (steps) and educational level (lanes). The new contract calls for a base salary cost-of-living increase of 3% each year. Additionally, each year that a teacher works is considered a "step" on the ladder of experience, and each step allows a 4% increase. The previous contract contained 17 steps, but the first step has been eliminated effective for the 2007-2008 school year, and all the remaining steps have been renumbered. This moves each teacher up to a higher salary level, giving an immediate salary raise of 4%. Thus, teachers with less than 16 years of service may rise two steps this year and receive a minimum raise of 11%.
RSC Chair Michael Fitzgerald served on the negotiating team. He thanked those on the team for "putting in a great deal of time and energy in negotiating this contract." RSC member Jan McGinn noted the different tone, compared with the strained contract negotiations that took place three years ago.
The last contract took over a year and many meetings to ratify and had to be negotiated through a state mediator. Issues that stalled talks included the 90:1 teacher/student ratio and the awarding of sabbaticals.
Fitzgerald observed, "Times are different." He added, "We very much value what the teachers bring to our students. We also wanted teachers to understand that one of our objectives is to make sure that we have long-term sustainability of the programs we have. I would also like to thank the CCTA [Concord Carlisle Teachers Assciation] for their approach. It was very productive."
© 2007 The