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School board, teachers reach bargaining agreement

December 23, 2009
ALTON — Amid growing public interest surrounding negotiations with the Alton Teachers' Association (ATA), school district officials announced last week that they have reached a tentative agreement with teachers on the terms of a proposed three-year contract.

According to a press release issued by the superintendent's office on Dec. 22, the school board and members of the ATA voted on Nov. 23 to ratify a three-year collective bargaining agreement.

The contract (which, if approved by voters, would take effect on July 1, 2010 and end on June 30, 2013) includes the following provisions:

-During the three-year duration of the contract, teachers would continue to receive step-and-track salary increases in accordance with their level of education and years of teaching experience.

In addition to step-and-track increases, teachers would also receive cost of living allowances (COLAs) of one percent during the second year of the contract (2011-12), and two percent during the third year (2012-13).

The combined impact of the salary increases and COLAs would translate to a cost of $85,942 the first year; $109,426 the second year; and $138,914 the third year.

Teachers have also agreed to increase their contribution to health insurance premiums as follows:

-Those with HMO plans will pay nine percent the first year, 9.5 percent the second year, and 10 percent the third year.

-Those with point-of-service (POS) plans will pay 10 percent the first year, 10.5 percent the second year, and 11 percent the third year.

Under the provisions of the proposed contract, the annual non-cumulative longevity stipends paid to teachers who meet the requirements outlined in the contract would also increase from $500 to $1,000.

"The negotiations process between the Alton School Board and the ATA was very positive," board Vice Chair Jeff St. Cyr stated in the press release.

"Both parties are pleased to be able to propose this contract to the citizens of Alton," he added.

The bargaining agreement will be presented to voters during the district's annual deliberative session (scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 30, at 1 p.m. in the Prospect Mountain High School auditorium), and will appear on next year's district Warrant for final approval when voters go to the polls on March 9.

Brendan Berube can be reached at 569-3126 or bberube@salmonpress.com

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