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Peekskill Schools, Faculty Reach Accord on 4-Year Pact

Teachers to forgo salary increases this year, will pay more toward health insurance; performance review plan yet to be adopted.

Peekskill teachers and the Board of Education have approved a memorandum of agreement on a four-year contract with no salary increases during the first year and incremental increases in teacher contributions toward the cost of health insurance.

The memorandum was approved Tuesday morning, Sept. 4, by the Peekskill Faculty Association and that evening by the school board. It is the foundation of the formal contract that must be ratified at a later date after adoption of an Annual Professional Performance Review plan, as required by New York State.

The agreement, effective July 1 and running through June 30, 2016, “reflects the difficult economic times facing the district, and both the district and the PFA made compromises to reach an agreement that both sides feel is fair and keeps the education of children as the chief priority,” according to a press release issued by the district today (please see attached PDF).

The district is still negotiating new contracts with five other bargaining units. Contracts with all six units expired June 30.

Superintendent of Schools James Willis praised the “good-faith negotiations” that led to “an agreement beneficial to the taxpayers, the district and the teachers.” Board President Joseph Urbanowicz offered “appreciation for the concessions and the commitment to quality education.”

Main provisions of the contract, as summarized in the press release:

  • Teachers will receive increases as follows: none in 2012-13, 0.5% in February 2014, 0.5% in February 2015 and 1% in February 2016. Step increases will be frozen in 2013, and effective in February 2014, 2015 and 2016. In 2012-13, the value of Step 15 will be increased $750 and will be made to teachers at Step 15. A $450 one-time payment will be made to teachers on Steps 1-14. Step 15 will be increased by $250 in 2014 and $300 in 2015.
  • Teachers will receive longevity increments after eight and 20 years of service.
  • Teachers will increase their contribution to the cost of the health insurance plan each year from 9% effective July 2012 to 15% effective July 2016.
  • Teaching assistant salaries will be increased by $1,500 in 2012. Thereafter, the same percentage increases as for teachers will apply.
Patty Villanova September 09, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Pretty good deal for the teachers, as always. Why not publish the base salaries and the monetary value of these increases, plus the cost of health insurance and their contribution, so that the taxpayers can see what the actual costs are?
sayitsnotsojack September 09, 2012 at 01:57 PM
To see the real cost of these teachers look at seethroughny.com but be sitting down when you do or you might faint when you see the amounts these people make.
Emilia September 09, 2012 at 06:07 PM
As you seem to think it's such a gravy train, it's amazing that you did not enter the teaching profession, Mr. sayitsnotsojack. Have you ever been in a classroom? Teachers are worth every penny that they earn, having invested many years and a lot of money in their education. Their day does not end when they leave school, as they spend time in the evening correcting papers and preparing lessons. They often spend their own money on supplies to supplement their curriculum. In the present difficult economy, the Peekskill teachers, and those of surrounding districts, have unselfishly accepted pay freezes and agreed to contribute more to their health benefits.
Silent Majority September 09, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Why are teachers always getting the bad end of the stick?! It always seems people want better education, want their kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, etc to get a great education, but never want to pay the people who actually do the hard work putting in the time to actually teach those children. You want kids to stay off the streets, but dont want to allow them the education to stay off the streets? It amazes me. Teachers work waaaaayy beyond what their job description says, union contracts state, and parents and schools ask for. As a matter of fact, many teachers in your neighborhood are working on planning and lessons on a Sunday. I agree with everything that Emilia writes and support the teachers in this community and the surrounding communities. It amazes me that the working/middle class get slighted again by the smearing of these posters. Go talk to a teacher and ask them how hard they work rather than bashing them. Bash the Corrupt politicians who never make concessions, lower their pay, give back their medical benefits even after they leave office and never allow their pensions to be touched.
Buckshot Roberts September 10, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Hey Patti and Jack, why don't you go sit in a classroom in Peekskill and see what the teachers are forced to put up with before you spew your predictable vitoral against the profession. Once you do this, and I doubt either of you will, then come back to these comment boards and lets see if you have the same opinion.
Kirsten Berger September 10, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Wow, that really sucks! The teachers deserve better than this.
Dan September 10, 2012 at 11:14 AM
sounds like a reasonable concession by staff, but a hit to the teachers...did admin take the same?...yes, you can check salaries out on see through.net, and those who hate the teachers unions will complain about how much a teacher should make when they know little. apparently some on here just hate to hate. good job PFT, at least you got a contract:)
sayitsnotsojack September 10, 2012 at 04:19 PM
The education world has the attitude that they are different and entitled to better pay and benefits for the time and effort they put in. For people who live on planet earth and not planet education they are lucky if they receive 10 federal holidays and two weeks off a year. Teachers start the year knowing they are going to be working 185 days and not all of them will be in a classroom. Real world people work 10, 12 hours a day or more, they bring homework, they work weekends, they are not guaranteed a job for life with tenure, they are not given raises for taking on line courses, they are not given gold plated pension and health plans for life with little or no contributions. Real world people do not get paid for every little thing they are asked or tasked to do, a teacher gets a stipend for every single thing they do, ask a teacher to monitor a lunch hour and see how much they think that is worth? Finally for all the tens of millions that are being squandered the education received is at best mediocre to poor, a study completed by Princeton sated 40% of incoming freshman need remedial courses in reading, math, and English to complete their freshman year. Peekskill teachers may have a more difficult time than some others may because the student body makeup, which may not be the best type of student, but that still, does not give them the right to believe they are entitled to anything more than the rest of the working population.

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