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West Hartford, Teachers Union, Reach Deal

Posted by whforums on December 10, 2008

The Courant is reporting this morning that the teachers union and the town have agreed (with union ratification) on a contract through the end of academic year 2011. The teachers will receive a 1% raise in the first year and a 1.25% raise in a second year — raises that are significantly lower than the 3% raise union members had been receiving under the previous agreement. In return, teachers will work one fewer day per year and will still receive annual step increases.

The Courant estimates that the raises will cost the town an extra one million dollars over the life of the deal.

Now, I can hear the howling coming from the far reaches of the anti-teacher crowd already, but I have to tell you, I think this strikes a reasonable compromise between a town under financial stress and a personnel who are also under financial stress. And I think we also have to ask ourselves — would arbitration really have brought a better deal?

I know many would like to have seen a pay freeze, and others would argue that taking any raise, in this environment, smacks of selfishness. But I would argue that, down the road, we would have had to pay more for both — in compensation for a freeze, and in pedagogical brain-drain.

Maintaining a fleet of happy teachers at the expense of one year of leaf collection? I’ll take it. 😉

3 Responses to “West Hartford, Teachers Union, Reach Deal”

  1. Cynic said

    I don’t think you’ll find screaming about the contract being to much. A question i have not heard the answer to was how much are the benefits going up.

    The original concern I believe was the union wanted 4.5%/yr, dug there heels in and negotiations broke down. In the end, I think concerns that Binding arbitration would not go in favor of the union as the economy worsened, and the fact that Binding Arb would be PUBLIC hearings are what finally brought about the settlement.

  2. Cynic said

    Sorry about the spelling in the pevious post. i was in a rush.

  3. Cynic said

    BTW, that 1% and 1.25% is on top of any Step raises they get for seniority

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