Written by Mary Marks Friday, 22 April 2011 00:00
Jericho teachers have agreed to give up a 3.5 percent pay raise that they were contracted to receive next year - saving the district $1.2 million. Teachers will retain annual “step” increases (averaging 1.5 percent) built into their salary schedules. In exchange, teachers obtained a three-year contract extension with a raise of 1.9 percent in 2012-13, zero percent in 2013-14 and 1.9 percent in 2014-15, plus steps. The $1.2 million in savings will partially offset the $4.1 million of reserves and fund balance that needed to be appropriated to hold the tax levy at 2.94 percent. In addition, the teachers’ contributions toward healthcare benefits will be 21 percent by the end of the contract.
District administration, the teachers union and the board of education have been working toward this agreement for many months and all are extremely pleased with the outcome. “Words can not fully express our sincere thanks and appreciation for the personal sacrifices that our teachers have made on behalf of the children of Jericho,” explained Jericho Superintendent of Schools Hank Grishman. “Their foresight and understanding of what needed to be done during these difficult economic times for the long term healthy relationship we have with our school community is beyond commendable. The partnership with our teachers is the key to what makes our district number one.”
“We look forward to working closely together to get through the next few years with no loss of programs or cuts in teaching positions,” said Jericho Teacher’s Association President Maryann Risi. “We have shown that the teachers understood the need for fiscal responsibility and that the board will provide the guidance to accomplish that.” “The board of education is thrilled about the JTA’s ratification of our MOA,” said board president Barbara Krieger. “We sincerely thank our teachers for working with us, for the benefit of Jericho’s children, in these difficult economic times.”