Teachers get 3-year contract
Town Council approves new pact in New Milford
Published 10:55 am, Sunday, December 4, 2011
New Milford teachers have a contract for the next three years.
The contract was negotiated through a stipulated agreement during the arbitration process and adopted last month.
It provides teachers with modest step and general wage increases over the next three years.
The increases total 1.94 percent for the 2012-13 school year, 2.23 percent for the second year and 2.78 percent for the third year.
The most senior teachers, who are at the top salary step, are eligible for 1.5 percent increases in the first year, 1.2 percent in the second year and 1.5 in the final year.
Teachers also made insurance concessions with a new health plan offered through Cigna that increases their premium contributions from 17 percent to 20 percent over the course of the contract.
The agreement requires higher co-payments -- up to $35 on a visit -- for certain medical services.
The teachers agreed to an additional work day, while annual stipends for coaches and other extra-curricular activities remained the same.
The stipends range from $947 for supervising a club to $5,458 for the high school band director.
Coaches earn from $2,361 for freshmen high school boys' basketball to $5,822 for varsity football.
The additional financial benefits to teachers will include longevity payments for those who have worked 15 years or longer, with those costs ranging from $805 to $1,610 for those teachers who have worked more than 29 years.
Teachers are eligible for up to 15 days of paid sick leave, with five of those days available for care of a family member, and one to two personal days with a supervisor's approval.
Bereavement leave for immediate family is a maximum of five days.
Board of Education chairwoman Wendy Faulenbach said it is possible the savings to the district from the contract concessions will add up to more than a half million dollars over the course of the contract.
Councilman Ray O'Brien applauded the efforts to reach a contract that meets the town's needs and so salary and benefit costs will now be known prior to the start of the next fiscal year's budget preparation.
In other council business, town finance director Ray Jankowski explained the need to establish a trust to handle non-pension employment benefits and the members of that trust will be the same as the Pension Committee approved Monday by the council.
A town meeting to vote on establishing this trust to assure money is available to cover those benefits will be held Dec. 12.