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Teachers And Board of Education Agree on Nimble Response

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - The North Salem Board of Education and the North Salem Teachers’ Association have signed a new contract, believed to “position the district to respond more nimbly to the challenges of the new tax cap,” according to a press release.

The agreement calls for a 0% salary increase in the current school year and a 0% “step” increase in the 2012-13 school year. A step increase is an automatic raise based upon years of service.

Health insurance premium contributions will increase by 1% for teachers in the current year. A 1% increase in teachers’ base salary will take effect in the 2012-13 school year.

Board of Education President Katherine Daniels said, “The agreement represents a collaboration in the best interest of our taxpayers, the teachers and the students of the district.”

So far this year, teachers have been working under the provisions of an expired contract. The new agreement contains no retroactive financial settlements, and does not impact the current year’s budget appropriations.

Under New York State law, teachers are automatically entitled to increases. Dr. Kenneth Freeston, superintendent of schools, said if the teachers had insisted upon the terms of the state mandate it “would have had major negative impacts on our students and district. They chose to forego a state mandate. As a result, I think this process has been an inspiring one for our school community.”

The press release stated “the new agreement results in an impact to the budget that will be less than the proportionate share of the state’s tax cap, giving the district more flexibility to craft the budget, and providing greater relief to taxpayers.”

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