Teachers and support staff in will receive raises after the school board unanimously approved contracts Monday night with the unions that represent those workers.
The teachers' union, Oswego Education Association, and the board agreed to a 2.1 percent salary increase for the 2011-12 school year. The 2.1 percent is based upon a blended Consumer Price Index from July through December 2011 combined with the CPI from January through June 2012, according to a district news release. The contract will expire June 30, 2012.
A one-year deal was necessary because a more complex negotiation will take place next year as the high schools move to the new eight-period schedule.
“Throughout the negotiation process, both the school board and the OEA focused on safeguarding the fiscal stability of the district, ensuring quality educational programs and attracting and retaining a talented teaching staff,” said Todd Colvin, associate superintendent for administrative services. “Discussions revolved around the performance of our dedicated professional staff, salary comparisons with surrounding school districts and adopting contract language to accommodate future expansion of the district.”
Some union members will receive additional increases of up to 6.75 percent after completing graduate coursework or obtaining an advanced educational degree, the release said.
“The OEA is pleased to have worked with the Board of Education to reach this acceptable agreement for the 2011-12 school year,” said Darla Medernach, OEA president.
The union ratified the agreement Oct. 13. The union’s previous contract, which expired June 30, included 3.8 percent increase.
Support staff are set to receive a minimum 2 percent and maximum 2.5 percent pay raise, as well. The deal reached with the Oswego Educational Support Professional Association will expire June 30, 2015. The OESPA represents about 250 secretaries, building nurses, teacher assistants and technology specialists.
“We believe we have worked in good faith with the school district to develop a fair and equitable agreement,” OESPA President Laurie Peterson said. “OESPA is proud of the wonderful working relationship we have developed with the district and we look forward to continuing that in the future.”
District administrators also received a 2.1 percent increase courtesy of the School Board. The board voted 4-3 for the increase with members Dave Behrens, Lynn Cullick and Mike Scaramuzzi voting no. Scaramuzzi had made a motion that failed for a 2.8 percent increase, which would have equaled the aggregate of teacher increases. Cullick and Behrens also had supported the 2.8 percent figure.
School Board President Bill Walsh, who abstained from the vote on the teachers' union because his wife is a member, said raises were justified based on the effort of teachers, staff and administration.
“As we continue to compete in a global market, it’s our teachers who we trust to teach our children,” Walsh said. “We appreciate and support of their efforts.”