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New Teachers' Contract in Mamaroneck District Includes Salary Freeze, Increased Healthcare Contribution

The Mamaroneck School District announced the completion of their negotiations with the teachers' union at a Tuesday night study session.

 

After negotiations that spanned 16 months, the Mamaroneck School District has solidified a new five-year contract with the district’s teachers’ union, the Mamaroneck Teachers’ Association, that they are hoping will help manage spiraling mandated costs in the wake of a two percent tax cap.

“We are very grateful to the two negotiating committees as well as the members of the MTA for their understanding and appreciation of these changing times that have called for tough choices,” said School Board President Nancy Pierson at last night’s study session.

The new contract, effective from July 1, 2011-July 1, 2016, will freeze all salary increases—or Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)—for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school year. 

“In the long-term, the two-year wage freeze will significantly slow down rapidly escalating costs, as future increases will be calculated based on ‘pre-freeze’ salaries,” the district said in a statement sent out today.

Exceptions to this clause include a one-time $1,000 bonus for experienced teachers employed during the 2011-12 school year on the “top step” of the salary scale who have not already received increment pay. Teaching assistants employed during that same period will also receive a $350 bonus.  These bonuses, however, will not be added to base salaries and, therefore, will not count toward future COLA increases.

Another exception to this freeze will be “lane movements,” or salary increases based on additional education or credits; these increases will be subject to the collective bargaining agreement.

Two percent COLA salary increases will resume in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.

“The average annual Cost of Living Adjustment in the upcoming contract term is approximately 0.8 percent, which is significantly less than the 3.8 percent average annual Cost of Living Adjustment over the four-year period governed by the last contract,” said the district’s statement.

Additional long-term savings include an increase in the amount that newly hired teachers and nurses will be required to contribute to their health insurance costs, which will now be eight percent, effective July 1, 2015.

And, beginning in the 2013-14 school year, new hires will no longer be eligible for the Retirement Recognition Plan, a one-time payment totaling 25 percent of a retiring teacher’s salary.

According to district officials, “These recognition payments have cost the district over $1.5 million in the last three years alone.”

Students will also see a payoff from the new contract.

Instructional time with students will increase by up to 20 minutes per day at Hommocks Middle School; up to 15 minutes per day at Mamaroneck High School and 30 minutes at the district’s elementary schools.

Contract changes also included a new evaluation process for teacher’s Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) and the elimination of a contract provision that required a 2/3 vote of secondary level faculty before scheduling changes could be implemented. For more detailed information, the entire Memorandum of Agreement can be viewed on the district’s website here.

Officials appear confident that the new contract will yield considerable savings, going forward, in the district's expenses.

"If comparing this contract to Triborough (which requires districts to honor all terms/conditions of the expired contract, except for COLA), the savings over the life of the contract are projected at an estimated $3.9 million, with substantial long-term savings beyond that," said Superintendent Dr. Robert Shaps, continuing, “I do appreciate the commitment and sacrifice of our teachers; their willingness to partner with us in some ways ensured our success for the future."

 

Editor's Note: A quote clarifying the projected amount of savings for the new contract was added to an earlier version of this article.

Cadeyrn November 21, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Why are we paying for teacher pensions when they earn an average local salary of about $85,000? Many earn a great deal more. Doesn't make sense to lots of folks.
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Harold1968 February 11, 2013 at 09:13 PM
Teacher salaries and benefits have been going up, up, up over the last 20 years while the test scores of our children have been going down, down, down when compared to the rest of the world. What is wrong with this picture? Are there any angry parents or taxpayers out there? Where's the accountability? Oh I forgot, these are teachers we're talking about.
chuck fitch February 13, 2013 at 04:20 PM
A real asshole comment. America is experiencing the worst parenting in its history and you blame teachers. It starts at home pal, teachers are not parents so go blow it out your ass jerkoff
Harold1968 February 14, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Wow. Please tell me which school district you teach in so I can make sure I don't live there. Teachers love to have it both ways...if students do well then it's because the teachers are doing a great job....so pay us more!! If the students are doing poorly then "don't look at us...it's the parents fault". You can't have it both ways. Either you can influence a student or not. At the current obscene compensation you get we should be number one in testing worldwide. If you're telling me you're just a bunch of glorified babysitters then return half your salary and benefits to the taxpayers because you don't deserve them. Taxpayers have had it with you working six months each year while we work 11 months. We've had it with you retiring in your 50's with generous, guaranteed pensions while we retire at 67 with no financial guarantees. We're tired of paying thousands of dollars for health coverage every year while you pay nothing or a nominal amount. We're tired of getting pay cuts and no raises while you get TWO guaranteed raises (contract and STEP) every year. We get fired if we don't perform and you have tenure which guarantees your job unless you murder someone. It's time New York taxpayers and parents say ENOUGH. Cut teacher salaries, eliminate STEP raises, add 30 days to the school year, raise the retirement age to 67, eliminate tenure. Forget the "1%". Public sector union members are the real privileged class. It's time for them to start living like the rest of us.
Lauren K March 20, 2013 at 12:34 AM
Those who like to teacher bash have no idea what teachers do. Ignorance is bliss. Teachers are limited by unions. While in the private sector one can earn more based in performance, teachers cannot. And, I will tell anyone who thinks they can do what I do to spend one day in my class room. My students will tear you apart. Teachers deserve every cent that they earn, especially in the city. And, yes, as a society the parenting and disciplining of children is inadequate at best. If you don't think a good education begins at home I hope you don't reproduce.
Georgia March 22, 2013 at 11:36 PM
If you think teaching is such a wonderful, easy and profitable job... I'd be more than happy to recommend several places where you can go to get a degree in education. Additionally, your information is completely incorrect. More and more good teachers are being denied tenure and forced to jump from job to job, just because districts and their taxpayers don't want to pay for qualified and experienced teachers.
Mary Too March 23, 2013 at 02:40 AM
Georgia, you are absolutely correct. Excellent teachers are denied tenure every semester in the Mamaroneck school system, only to be replaced by less-experienced recent college graduates. Yet, the higher ups (principals and superintendents) keep getting salary increases. What a disgrace! I am tired of paying school tax to a system that has little regard for the quality of education of our children.
Harold1968 May 24, 2013 at 10:48 AM
Mary Too, I assume you're not a math teacher. In every school district there are tens, or hundreds, of retired teachers collecting very large pensions each year. There are only a handful of superintendents and principals. Salaries of superintendents and principals don't even come close to the cost of teacher pensions, salaries, and benefits. Look at any school budget. It appears you're using the tactic of refocusing blame taught in Teacher Union 101 class.
Harold1968 May 24, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Lauren K, You have no idea what I do for a living but you claim your students would "tear me apart" and I couldn't be a teacher. What an ignorant generalization. That's right up there with another ignorant generalization I often hear from teachers - "I know I only work eight months each year but I grade so many papers after school that I work harder than you do in 12 months!" Making ignorant statements, especially as a teacher, don't help your cause.

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