By Sara Hall | NB Indy
The school district has struck a tentative deal with the local teachers union for a one-year agreement to cover the current school year.
The Newport-Mesa Unified School District’s r tentative agreement with the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers states that there will be no salary raises or reductions and no furlough days for the employees this year.
“It is significant that we didn’t have to do any salary reductions or furloughs,” said district Communications Director Laura Boss.
Boss said that the fact that there are no salary reductions is important because earlier in this year there were layoffs and program reductions. She also added that out of the 63 permanent teachers that were laid off before summer the district has been able to re-hire 54.
“It’s been great to re-employ those teachers that had to be laid off,” she said.
One of the more notable features of the agreement is the benefits package. If the agreement had not been settled on, each teacher that chose the package would have been obligated to pay $152 per person, said Boss. Now, she said, the teachers will pay what all other unions for district employees pay, $36.70.
Boss said she was happy that the benefits issue has been resolved.
“At least some things were put in place for this year,” Boss said, “so our employees could at least move forward without this (the benefits package) hanging over their head.”
A few other key provisions of the contract: Increase in mandatory meeting time from three to four hours; increase from three to four that allowed number of involuntary administrative transfers over a three year period; no increases to various hourly rates; and early retirees (ages 55-65) who retire on or after July 1, 2011, will pay the same over-the-cap contribution as active employees until age 65.
Negotiations have technically been going on for the past year, Boss said, but the bulk of the work was done in the past six months.
The teachers will hold a vote to ratify the agreement after a 15-day viewing period. The unioin represents approximately 1,200 employees.
District trustees also needs to approve the agreement, and it is on the agenda for the Oct. 12 school board meeting.
“We are all very grateful its been settled,” Boss said. “It was a win-win.”