Superintendent’s Blog – 04/12/2018

District Reaches Final Agreement On One-Year Teacher Contract

As many of you are aware, on March 13, 2018 the voters passed Article 3 of the School District warrant. Article 3 accepted the Fact Finder’s Report and appropriated $1.68 million for the purposes of implementation of the findings into an agreement between the School Board and the CVEA.

A final agreement has been reached between the School Board of the Contoocook Valley School District and the CVEA. The agreement operationalizes the $1.68 million contract to fund teacher, special service professionals, and paraprofessional salaries and wages for the 2018-2019 school year.  The proposal represents a major investment, creating one of the most competitive pay structures among the local school districts and providing pay raises for teachers, special service professionals, and paraprofessionals.

Myron Steere, School Board Chair wanted me to share the following thoughts with you, “Our educators are our most valuable resource, and this contract shows that our school community appreciates your work and is willing to invest in the long-term success of educators and our students, we celebrate this milestone in our negotiations and will continue to work with the CVEA and the Administration to provide fair and competitive compensation while creating a balanced and fiscally responsible budget.”

Implementing the Fact Finder’s Report required one last round of negotiations due to a difference in legal interpretation regarding how to operationalize the Fact Finder’s Report into salary adjustments.  The CVEA and the Board returned to the bargaining table to review the report and finalize the plan.  A tentative agreement has been signed and submitted to the District offices. The CVEA and the Board will need to approve the plan, and they expect to have a final Collective Bargaining agreement ready for signature in the next few weeks.

The plan will provide every teacher, special service professional, and paraprofessional with a salary or wage increase and will correct inequities in the application of the salary matrix.  The plan, in conjunction with changes to the budget and in response to declining enrollment, made it necessary to eliminate some positions. Negotiations between the Board and the CVEA, as well as significant work on the  part of administrative staff, resulted in limited loss of employment.  While there was a decrease in positions, losses were managed primarily through attrition.

When the two sides of a contract negotiation have a difference of opinion in the final hours, it can lead to a time consuming and costly fight in court. I was pleased to see both sides work together and avoid that option.  This makes us able to be sure that taxpayer dollars are being invested in academic priorities and not wasted in costly legal fees.  I believe this agreement reflects our ability to work together for the benefit of all students, staff, and taxpayers in our District. I look forward to continuing to work with the Board and the CVEA to provide an excellent academic program that balances the needs of all our community members.