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. 😉