Thursday night at the Chancellor Center in Newtown, the Council Rock School Board approved contracts for two of the district's employee unions.
The board voted 8-1 to ratify a new contract for the Council Rock Education Association (CREA), which is made up of the district’s 853 teachers and guidance counselors.
Under the new contract, members of the union will take a pay freeze for the 2012-2013 school year and the next year teachers will only receive a slight “step increase,” district officials explained at the meeting. In the 2014-2015 school year, a pay raise of 0.5 percent would be awarded to all teaching staff.
CREA members will increase their contributions for health insurance premiums over the course of the three-year deal. By the end of the contract, union members will be contributing 16 percent to their health care plan.
The board also approved a new contract for the Council Rock Education Support Professionals Association (CRESPA). The group is made up of the district's 503 professional support staff including teaching assistants, school secretaries, maintenance support, bus monitors and recess and cafeteria aides.
The CRESPA members will be getting a 0.5 percent increase next year and a 1 percent pay raise in the 2013-2014 school year. In the final year of the contract, the professional support staff will receive a 1.6 percent pay increase.
A tiered rate system will be used for the CRESPA members contributions towards their health care premiums. During the 2012-2013 school year, members will pay 4.5 percent toward their health care. During the second and third year, support staff making more than $32,000, which is about half of CRESPA members, would pay 5 percent and then 6 percent. During the same time, members earning more than $32,000 would pay 7 percent and then 9 percent.
District superintendent Mark Klein said all parties worked for several months to agree to the terms of both of the new contract.
Board member Patricia Sexton called the contracts “hard fought and hard won.”
“They gave in; we gave in,” she added referring to the compromise both sides came to during negotiations.
“This contract is one of the the things I’ll be most proud of when I’m no longer on this board,” Board Vice President Wendi Thomas said of the CREA deal.
Board member Dr. Paul Anagnostakos, who participated in the meeting via telephone as he was away on business, said the contract was not perfect, but it was “good.”