The Examiner

Chappaqua Teachers Union Agrees to New Contract With District

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Chappaqua Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lyn McKay
Chappaqua Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lyn McKay

Although school budget season doesn’t often bring good news, Chappaqua district officials had a positive outcome to report last week.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lyn McKay announced the district and the Chappaqua Congress of Teachers (CCT) reached an agreement on a new two-year contract. Following McKay’s announcement at the Feb. 27 board of education meeting, trustees approved the agreement unanimously.

“During these difficult financial times, this (Memorandum of Agreement) puts students first and shows a shared commitment to continuing to provide an excellent education,” McKay said in a prepared statement. “I would like to thank all of those involved in the negotiations for the many hours spent in open, honest and meaningful discussion resulting in this agreement.”

By reaching a deal, McKay said that the district projects to save about $1.5 million. Because of the Triborough Amendment to the Taylor Law, the district would have had to continue to adhere to the current contract, which is set to expire in June, until a new one was reached.

Under the new deal that takes effect July 1, teachers agreed to freeze their step increase and will instead receive a flat increase of $1,950. The average teacher salary increase, including the dollar and stipend increases, will be 1.69 percent for 2013-14, and 1.72 percent for 2014-15. If the two sides had failed to reach an agreement, the average teacher salary increase would have been 2.68 percent for each year under the Triborough Amendment.

Additionally, teachers agreed to contribute 12.25 percent toward their health insurance premium next year and 13.5 percent in 2014-15, an increase from the current 11 percent. Over the next two years, there will also be stipend increases of 1 and 1.5 percent, respectively, for teachers that coach or chair a department.

“This new agreement shows respect for our teachers as professionals and ensures that Chappaqua students receive the highest quality public education while minimizing programs and job losses,” said CCT President Ellen Pincus, a special education teacher at Douglas G. Grafflin Elementary School, who is set to retire at the end of the school year.

McKay said the new deal will help to continue the district’s strong academic standing.

“I’m highly appreciative of our teachers stepping up to support our students, our staff and our community,” McKay said during the meeting.

School board members also praised the deal. Board President Victoria Tipp, who was familiar with the negotiations, said talks were framed around shared goals and values. By reducing the salary increases, it minimized the need for more severe staff layoffs. The $1.5 million that was saved is equivalent to 15 full-time positions, Tipp said. After a reduction of 57 teachers over the past four years, Tipp said further reductions would have hurt programs and had a negative impact on teachers as well.

“The talks reflected a true spirit of partnership with our teachers in supporting the best interests of the school district as a whole,” Tipp said.

The district remains in negotiations with its three other bargaining units–the administrators, custodial staff and support staff.






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