In what could be the quietest, most amicable teacher contract brokered in New Jersey since the start era of the 'New Normal' era, the Glen Rock Board of Education and Glen Rock Education Association (GREA) has formalized a new three-year deal both sides are calling a victory for the community.
The school board voted 8-0 with one abstention Monday night on agreeing to the new contract, which covers the 2012-2013, 2013-14 and 2014-2015 school years.
Teachers and support staff will see a 1.9 percent raise in the first year, a 2.9 percent raise in year two and a 2.3 percent raise in 2014-2015, according to the agreement.
"It went very smoothly and we were very pleased the GREA was receptive of what we presented to them and also, we were very receptive with what they presented to us," said school board president Rona McNabola following the vote.
"This contract represents a collective understanding of the challenging economic times and a mutual commitment to excellence in education," added Anne Camp, GREA president, in a statement. "GREA members look forward to continuing to provide all Glen Rock students with a quality education that they expect and deserve."
Salaries, with an average increase of 2.36 percent over the life of the contract, are above the county average of roughly 2 percent.
The uptick won't break the bank, according to school officials.
"This is well within the budgets we are anticipating over the next three years," McNabola said, adding that the salary guide figures largely resemble those of the previous agreement. Staffing figures for the life of the contract are projected to remain consistent with current numbers, she said.
In terms of health benefits, staff members will be contributing the greater sum of two figures: either a minimum 1.5 percent of the annual base pensionable salary; or a percentage of the cost of the district's health insurance premiums, ranging from a low of .75% for family coverage to those making $25,000 or less, to a high of 35 percent where the individual makes $95,000 or more a year.
According to the agreement, the 7.5% health benefits contribution for dependent coverage (which had been negotiated in the previous contract) will be dropped in the second year of the deal, as a result of the new state-mandated health contributions.
Negotiations began in late January with a tentative agreement locked up in July. The GREA ratified the deal last Thursday.
"The Board of Education appreciates that, while contract negotiations are often an adversarial process in many other districts, this was a totally focused effort by all concerned to arrive at a contract for the next 3 years that is in the best interest of the entire community," McNabola said in a written statement.
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