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December 11. 2013 8:36PM

Salem teachers, school board agree to two-year contract

SALEM — Voters will be asked to decide on a new two-year teacher contract during the March town election.

The agreement between the School Board and the Salem Education Association includes no raise the first year and a 1 percent increase the second year of the contract. Teachers will still be eligible for step increases.

There are also changes to the union's health care coverage, including the elimination of the highest-priced health care option that is now offered.

The School Board and the union began negotiations in the fall and the agreement was recently ratified.

Superintendent Michael Delahanty said the agreement will be beneficial for teachers, the district and the community.

"This well serves our teachers and our students," said Delahanty.

Although the highest cost option for insurance plans has been dropped, School Board member Pamela Berry said insurance co-pays will remain at $20.

The contract also includes increased hourly pay for teachers who take on additional outside-the-classroom duties such as tutoring.

"It will go from $25 per hour to $30 per hour," said Berry. "That hasn't increased in over 20 years."

Under the proposed contract, teachers are eligible for retirement if they have completed 15 years of service and they are 55 years old, or if their years in the district plus their age equals 73.

The contract also includes new stipends for teachers running the Key Club at the Woodbury Middle School and for the Junior Honor Society at the high school. Several stipends were also eliminated from the contract.

"Now it's up to the voters to have the final say," said Berry.

aswift@newstote.com


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