Hasbrouck Heights Board of Education approved the new contract for its teachers Thursday night as the result of negotions which both board and teachers union members said went smoothly.
The contract runs from 2012 to 2015. There will be two salary increases over the course of the next three years.
The first is a 2.5 percent increase which comes this November and a 3.9 percent increase which will come in either July or September 2014, stated Board Trustee Mark Nazarro, negotiations committee chair.
As for sick time, teachers will receive one less sick day which has been replaced with one additonal personal day which can be used for emergency purposes, without having to schedule in advance, Nazarro explained.
Also an employee that receives tuition reimbursement must work for one year or he or she will be required to reimburse the district if he or she were to leave before the one-year anniversary date, said Nazarro.
A slight change was made to the length of workday for the middle and high school staff requiring them to report 5 minutes before students and depart 5 minutes after. Previousy teachers reported 10 minutes before and left at the same time as the students. This was changed to increase teacher presence at end of the school day, he said.
Requirements for parent teacher conferences are two evenings for middle school and high school. Elementary level parent teacher scheduling will be done on afternoons and evenings.
Mark Stefanelli, board trustee and negotiations committee member, said although the negotions went smoothly it was not without differences in opinion therefore a mediator was brought in to help close the deal.
Stefanelli stated the legal team and the mediator had commented that they were pleased with the way the negotiations went as opposed to other contracts they have been involved with. He said it was always the intention to produce a contract that was "fair and consistent with similiar districts and maintain the guidelines of the state."
Lori Citron, presidents of the teacher’s union thanked the Board for its professionalism. She said when there were times of disagreement it was always handled amicably.
In some school districts contract negotiations can be a lengthy process. Ridgewood Education Associaton finally reached an agreement with the board Thursday morning after a 2-year contract struggle. Teacher contract negotiations also went on for more than a year in Fair Lawn and in Mahwah.