With about a month to go until their contract expires, teachers in the Southold school district have a new four-year deal.
After the school board unanimously approved the agreement at last Wednesday night’s meeting, Superintendent David Gamberg said the teachers union had agreed to “modest raises and a slowing down of the step schedule.”
“Essentially, the teachers recognize the climate that we are in right now,” he said.
[Scroll down to read the new teachers contract]
The contract, which runs from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2019, carries no raises for the first year. In the second and third years of the deal, teachers will receive 0.75 percent raises. During the 2018-19 school year, they’ll get a 0.5 percent raise, according to the contract.
Teachers will also contribute more toward health care coverage.
Starting July 1, 2016, contributions toward health insurance premiums will increase by 1 percent to 13 percent. Two years later, contributions will increase to 14 percent.
Under the new agreement, annual flat-fee longevity payments of $1,000 will also be made to each union member who has worked in the district for at least 20 years. After the contract expires, eligibility for longevity payments will revert to its previous level, affecting only those who have worked in the district for at least 25 years.
American history teacher and varsity baseball coach Mike Carver, who’s also president of the Southold Faculty Association, said he’s pleased an agreement was reached without a lapse.
Mr. Carver, who’s worked in the district for 20 years, described the negotiations as fair and said he believes the state-mandated cap on tax levy increases restricted both sides’ ability to negotiate salary and health care contributions.
“Both sides were realistic and acknowledged the district’s financial constraints, which is very important in a small community,” he said.