AREA NEWSThe Northern Westchester Examiner

Hen Hud Declares Impasse in Teacher Contract Negotiations

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The Hendrick Hudson School District announced that has reached an impasse in the contract negotiations with the Hendrick Hudson Education Association, the collective bargaining unit representing the District’s over 240 professional teaching staff members.

Under the Taylor Law when an impasse exists a mediator is appointed by the state to meet with both parties with the hope of facilitating

District officials contend that they presented what was believed to be “a fair settlement package,’ that was in line with other recently settled agreement with the district other bargaining units– the District Administrators Association (DAA), custodians (CSEA), secretaries (HHESA), and the teacher aides, teaching assistants and monitors (TAMA).  They claim that the offered packages are also comparable to other teacher contracts in Westchester and Long Island.

The offer was rejected by the HHEA.

In a statement released by the school district, it reveals that the most recent offer freezes a salary increase for the first year and a 1.25 percent, 1.5 percent and a 1.75 percent increase in years two, three and four respectively. Teachers would be permitted to earn up to 10 credits in one academic year and move a maximum of one lane when 10 credits have been accumulated.

In the most recent proposal there would be no change in the health benefit contribution for the first year.  However newly hired teachers would have to pay 18 percent toward their health insurance in the first year and by their fourth year contribute 21 percent. Existing teachers would have their contributions rise from the current rate of 7.25 percent to 15 percent by the fourth year of the contract.  Retired teachers would rise from 4.5 percent to 11 percent over the same four years.

“The latest contract offers our staff benefits and salary adjustments that are in line with surrounding districts.  More importantly, the proposal is in line with what other district bargaining units have already agreed to. It is my hope that we can work together to bring a timely resolution of differences and craft a new labor agreement that is fair and fiscally responsible,” said Superintendent Dr. Daniel McCann.

“With the very real possibility of a tax cap in the next year or so, the state will cap our growth at 2%.  We must be cognizant of the financial restrictions this will place on our district and community and act accordingly,” McCann stated.

The teachers bargaining unit demands would cost the district more than 4 percent the first year and potentially exceed a 6 percent increase in the second year, according to the school district. The HHEA is asking for an uncapped cost of living increase, in addition to steps and credits, as well as a minimal increase in health benefit contributions and reduced teaching loads for select teachers.

“We have an extremely talented and dedicated teaching staff.  Our staff works hard each day to make sure our students are learning and are advancing both academically and socially. Declaring impasse is a regrettable step and does not and should not reflect poorly on our teachers,” said McCann.

A representative from the HHEA could not be reached.

The Hendrick Hudson school district serves 2845 students from the Buchanan, Cortlandt Manor, Crugers, Montrose and Verplanck communities.

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