RCS, teachers reach accord on contract

Roxbury — The Roxbury Central School and the Roxbury Teachers’ Association have agreed to terms for a three-year contract beginning July 1, 2013.

The agreement, which was finalized on February 7, calls for an annual salary increase of 1.6 percent plus $200 for each teacher, along with an annual increase of one percent in the amount of the health insurance premium paid by the teachers.

RCS Board President Ed Fersch stated that he was pleased with both the agreement and the fact that it had been reached so quickly.

“This agreement shows that our teachers understand the difficult financial situation we are presently in,” stated Mr. Fersch in a prepared statement.
“The combination of state funding decreases during the last few years and the property tax levy cap has meant that our budget has barely increased. We need to be extra vigilant to be sure that we use all of our resources in the most efficient manner possible,” he added.

Mr. Fersch explained that the structure of this agreement is such that the teachers earning the least will get a slightly larger percent increase on their salary than those earning the most.
“This will help the newer teachers and the teaching assistants. By having this agreement in place prior to finalizing next year’s budget, we will be able to project the salary numbers accurately,” he added.

Mutual goals
The RCS Board president noted that the negotiations were completed in just four sessions, an indication of the understanding of mutual goals.
“Both sides came to the table with realistic goals and discussed their needs in a spirit of mutual understanding and respect. In the end, we have a solid agreement that will allow us to continue to work together to provide quality educational opportunities for the children in our school,” Mr. Fersch commented.