Roslyn school board approves new four-year teacher contract

Roslyn school board approves new four-year teacher contract
The Roslyn Board of Education at its Thursday meeting. (Photo by Teri West)

Roslyn school district teachers will be working under a new four-year contract beginning July 1 that will result in a 1 percent salary increase for each of the next three years, according to the district.

There will be a 1.2 percent salary increase in the fourth year.

The Board of Education unanimously approved the contract at its meeting last Thursday, and Roslyn Teachers Association President Eleanor Russell thanked its members for their efforts in reaching the agreement.

“During the past nine months working together, the district and the RTA have agreed upon a four-year contract that recognizes the economic realities that we all face, is fair to our members and upholds the quality of education in our community,” Russell said.

The contract covers teachers as well as school counselors, psychologists, social workers, nurses and librarians.

It eliminates a fee the district pays to the Roslyn Teachers Association Benefit fund for staff members who do not use the district health insurance benefit. Over the next four years, that will save the Roslyn Public Schools hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the district.

Additional provisions include an extra minute during each class period at the middle and high school and the new ability to schedule a staff conference day before Labor Day without having to schedule an instructional day.

Teacher health insurance contributions will still be 23 percent.

“This successful negotiation is a testament to the outstanding professional relationships that characterize our school community,” said Board of Education President Meryl Waxman Ben-Levy. “It makes me so very proud to be part of this healthy environment in which the professional staff at all levels focus intently on what is best for our children.”

The Board of Education also reviewed updated playground designs and recognized retiring teachers at its June 13 meeting.

The playgrounds will be at Harbor Hill and Heights School and have been designed with the input of a committee of staff and parents.

They will be installed in the spring and funded by the recently passed 2015 capital reserve fund designation.

After reviewing a second round of computer-generated sketches, the board was still not ready to vote last Thursday. Trustee Steven Litvack said he wanted to see photographs of what the equipment would look like and said it was difficult to tell how tall each piece would be based on the drawings presented.

The architects promised to provide the requested materials so the board could vote at its next meeting June 27.

The Harbor Hill playground would total $397,698 and the Heights playground would cost $413,408 if the board agrees on the current designs.

The district originally asked for the Harbor Hill playground to be separated into two sections to accommodate two different age groups. After concerns that the playground for younger children was too infantile, the district decided to move that to a separate part of the school grounds to eliminate concerns about students playing on non-age appropriate equipment, Superintendent Allison Brown said.

In an earlier ceremony, school principals spoke about each of the retirees from their school.

The superintendent, however, singled out one retiree who is a principal herself: Regina Colardi.

Colardi has been the Heights School principal since 2003.

“Thank you, Regina, for all your kindness over all the years,” Brown said. “We thank you for always being there when you were needed, we thank you for your frankness and honesty and genuine concern and we thank you for being our friend. Regina, the greatest message you have shown us is that you cared for all of us.”

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