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Dobbs Ferry School Board, Teachers Agree On New Contract

The Dobbs Ferry School District and its teachers have agreed to a new three-year contract.
The Dobbs Ferry School District and its teachers have agreed to a new three-year contract. Photo Credit: Dobbs Ferry Schools

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. - The Dobbs Ferry School District announced Friday that the Board of Education and the  Dobbs Ferry United Teachers have agreed to a new contract.

Both parties agreed to incorporate the provisions of the previous collectively negotiated agreement (that had expired on June 30, 2012) into a new three-year successor agreement effective July 1, 2013 and terminating on June 30, 2015, except as modified by specific provisions.

“The Board of Education and Teachers' Union are pleased to announce this resolution of the teachers' contract," Board of Education President Dr. Jeffrey O’Donnell said. "Throughout the negotiation process, the Board, the administrators and the teachers were focused on doing what was best for Dobbs Ferry’s students and maintaining the District’s standards of excellence in education.”

The Board also approved a supplemental Memorandum of Agreement with the Dobbs Ferry Administrators Association at the June 20 meeting.

As part of the newly ratified contract, all teachers and administrators agreed to take a pay freeze for the 2013-2014 school year. This is a “hard freeze” that includes no step increase, no raise and no movement on the salary guide for increased course credits.

According to Superintendent Lisa Brady, this concession “allows the District to remain in a favorable financial situation and avoid the need to reduce staff and eliminate any instructional positions.”

Teachers will receive a 1.5 percent pay increase along with a step increase in year 2014-2015 and teachers will also be contributing more towards the cost of their health insurance. Teachers will be paying 14 percent, up from 12 percent in the previous contract, effective July 1, 2014.

The agreement also dealt with collaborative time for professional staff development to meet the growing demands of the State’s Common Core and APPR requirements. All three Dobbs Ferry schools will have a one-hour early dismissal every Wednesday beginning in September to allow the faculty to engage in professional activities.

“The added professional development time is essential if we are to give our teachers the training and resources necessary to create the 21st Century learning environments that our students need,” Brady said in a statement. “This expanded professional development time is already in place in some of our neighboring districts and is becoming more commonplace as school districts look for ways to meet the increasing demands from the State.

Brady said the one-hour early dismissal on Wednesdays "will back up onto existing after-school professional development time and allow teachers longer blocks of time to work together.”

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