Council Accepts New Teachers’ Contract
In a 8-3 vote with one abstaining, the Legislative Council on November 6 accepted a negotiated teachers contract that will provide a total 8.91 percent pay increase over the next three years.
After a brief presentation on cost impacts of the proposed contract by council liaison Judit DeStefano, fellow representatives Phil Carroll, Dan Wiedemann, and Chris Smith opted to not support the mostly ceremonial action.
Council member Christopher Eide, who has a family member working for the Newtown district, abstained.
The motion was primarily ceremonial, according to Council Chair Paul Lundquist, because whether the panel accepted the contract or took no action, it would automatically go into effect by state statute.
If a majority of the council opted to not accept the contract, it could have created a situation where the Town and local teachers’ bargaining unit might be forced into arbitration.
During contract negotiations that Ms DeStefano attended, she said particular attention was paid to keeping increases and other aspects of compensation on a consistent trajectory.
She said the local school administration was wary about not creating a gap in wage increases that could domino into an eventual compensation package that could “balloon” future school budgets, which had happened in the past.
In the end, Ms DeStefano said both the administration and teachers union thought the final contract was reasonable, as well as comparable to similar contracts that had already been settled in other similarly-sized school districts.
“Dead-on average — that’s where we landed,” she told her colleagues, adding that both sides felt the final contract was “well-reasoned and pretty measured. Hopefully, teachers feel valued and appreciated.”
Teachers Contract Specifics
Documentation provided to the council and The Newtown Bee by Ms DeStefano outlined the following key financial provisions of the contract:
*2020-21: 3.0 percent GWI on all steps of salary schedule; no step advancement. (Total Cost = 3.0 percent)
*2021-22: 1.0 percent GWI on all steps of salary schedule; teachers not on top step will advance one step. (Total Cost = 2.95 percent)
*2022-23: 1.75 percent GWI on top step only; teachers not on top step will advance one step. (Total Cost = 2.96 percent)
Three-year sum = 8.91 percent
2020-21: $2,000/$4,000; 2021-22: $2,250/$4,500; 2022-23: $2,250/$4,500 $2,250/$4,500
BOE Funding of Deductibles
(Currently 50 percent)
*2020-21: BOE funds 50 percent of deductible.
*2021-22: BOE funds 45 percent of deductible.
*2022-23: BOE funds 45 percent of deductible.
Timing of BOE Funding of Deductibles
(Currently funded in July)
*One-half of Board’s HSA contribution deposited in September; with the remaining one-half deposited in January.
(Currently five percent of Deductible)
*Individual coverage: $100
*Family coverage: $200
Premium Contributions for Health and Dental
(Currently 22 percent for Health, 23 percent for Dental)
2020-21: 23.0 percent; 2021-22: 23.0 percent; 2022-23: 23.5 percent
The new three-year contract goes into effect July 1, 2020, and extends through June 30, 2023.