The Great Neck Public Schools' teachers now have a new contract that will grant salary increases to bring the school district salaries more in line with competitive school districts. At the board of education's July 1 meeting, the board approved a three-year contract with the Great Neck Teachers Association.
According to a school district spokesperson, the board of education ''has been aware that, over the years, the district gradually lost its salary competitiveness with neighboring districts.'' Further, the board learned that salary increases granted by other districts were, in some cases, substantially greater than the salary increases in the Great Neck schools.
Following some research into the matter, it was determined that, in just about all salary categories, there were at least 10 neighboring school districts that had higher starting salaries. Great Neck would do extensive interviewing with prospective teachers only to discover, at the last moment, the district was losing the teachers to a neighboring school district that was offering a higher salary.
As a result, in order to become competitive, the school board decided to grant salary increases of five percent in each of the first two years of the contract and four percent in the last year. However, the school board is aware that, even with these increases, there are still a number of school districts with salaries substantially higher than Great Neck's.
The board of education has stated, as board, that they are still confident that, as a result of this new contract, they will be able to recruit ''outstanding teachers who will be committed to the children and the future of this district.''
At the school board meeting, newly-elected president, Lawrence Gross, did comment that, even with the salary increases, the school district would still be able to maintain their educational programs and the important features of the district such as the commitment to small class size.