Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Great News for the District, Its Children, Its Staff and The Taxpayers

Moments ago, the Board of Ed along with the Chappaqua Congress of Teachers (CCT)announced a mutual agreement to amend the last year of the CCT current contract and extend the contract for an additional year.

While Janet Benton the Board President spoke for the entire Board at the meeting and I am reiterating much of what she said, I prepared the following brief statement:

I just wanted to make a very brief statement regarding the agreement reached between the Chappaqua Congress of Teachers and the CCSD. First, as Janet mentioned in our statement, I want to thank Ellen and Ray for their leadership and John, John, Tom and Lyn for the efforts on behalf of the district.

This decision to open the contract is extremely rare and should be recognized as a tremendous good will gesture on the part of the teachers. But more than a good will gesture this agreement saves the district money versus the contract this year and versus Triborough next year. It is a significant give back to the taxpayers. It encompasses every area that the CCT could address locally; salary, both raises and step raises as well as the health care contribution. The agreement also has saved both jobs and programs that in the absence of the agreement would have been cut.

Finally, this agreement while preserving flexibility for the district in future negotiations, also significantly contributes to the Board's dual goals, maintain and expand our academic excellence while proposing reasonable and sustainable budgets to the community.

As a friend of mine told me last year, there are no bad guys in this debate. There are just three parties (residents with children, empty nesters and district staff) that have a problem and need to work it out. This agreement is a good first step.



Note: Below is a copy of Janet Benton's remarks on behalf of the entire Board of Education.

I am pleased to announce that the Board of Education and the Chappaqua Congress of Teachers (CCT) have come to an agreement to amend the current teacher contract, resulting in a savings of over $1 million in the 2011-12 operating budget. The CCT overwhelmingly approved the agreement in a vote last Thursday and the Board of Education will take action on the Memoranda of Understanding tonight.

At the request of the Board, Interim Superintendent John Chambers and Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Tom Cardellichio met with CCT President Ellen Pincus and Vice President Ray Lucia to discuss reopening the existing contract.

While the CCT was under no legal obligation to reopen, their leadership readily agreed to engage in talks. They spent many hours in open, honest, and respectful discussion with our district administrators to craft this agreement. With their positive vote, the CCT membership stepped forward as true partners in this district to give back $1 million to help save jobs, limit class size increases, and preserve the high quality educational program that we have built together.

The Board would like to offer special recognition to Ellen and Ray. Thank you for your commitment to our schools, our children, and our community and for your leadership in bringing this agreement to your membership for approval.

We also thank John Chambers, Lyn McKay, Tom Cardellichio, and John Chow for their expertise, creativity, commitment and patience in guiding these contract discussions a successful conclusion.

The agreement provides modifications to three key elements in the teachers’ contract: salary increases are reduced; step advancement is slowed; and health insurance contributions are increased. The agreement extends the CCT contract one additional year, providing time for a new Superintendent of Schools to become established in the position before new contract negotiations begin.

For 2011-2012, the new agreement will reduce base pay increases from the previously agreed 3.5% to 2.5%, postpone step increases to mid-year, and bring health insurance premium contributions to 10% on July 1, 2011 rather than January 1, 2012. In 2012-2013, the teachers’ base pay increase will be 2%, with step increases again postponed to mid-year, and health insurance premium contributions moved to 11%.

The Board of Education is deeply committed to ensuring continued excellence in our academic and extracurricular programs while developing a fiscally responsible budget. We believe that the spirit of partnership and respect embodied in this new agreement demonstrates how we can all work together to achieve this goal.


No comments:

Post a Comment