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New Canaan Council Approves 3-Year Contract For Teachers

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – New Canaan’s teachers have a new three-year contract with the town with raises of more than 2.5 percent in each year of the contract.

The New Canaan Town Council voted Wednesday to approve the contract with the New Canaan Education Association, the union that represents teachers at the town’s five public schools. The deal begins at the start of the 2013-14 school year and runs through June 30, 2016.

The new pact gives teachers, on average, a 3.59 percent raise next year, a 2.53 percent raise in 2014-15 and a 2.51 percent raise in the third year, New Canaan Schools Finance Director Joe Meehan said.

The average salary for a New Canaan teacher is about $84,100, Meehan said. The average salary would go up to $87,130 in the first year of the deal.

The council voted 9-1 in favor of the contract. Councilor Roger Williams voted no due to his concerns about the step raises included the contract that would give teachers more money. With talk in Washington about the so-called fiscal cliff, which could raise taxes on nearly every American, Williams urged caution. 

“The underlying essence of it (is) these steps in the agreement,” he said. “In totality, we’re dealing with things from roughly from 3 and a half percent to almost 10 percent.”

Councilman Joe Palladino abstained from voting, saying he has family members who are teachers, but he also worries about the economic picture going forward and being locked into a big deal.

This was the best deal the district could work out with the teachers, Board of Education Chairwoman Alison Bedula said. “We feel this contract is a fair contract. We feel this contract is a good contract,” Bedula said, noting that the board negotiated up until arbitration was possible. “We truly felt this was the best possible contract we could bring to you.”

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