SEPTEMBER 26, 2012
Port Jervis School District and teachers’ union ratify new
Port Jervis School District and teachers union are starting the
year off with a new collective bargaining agreement.
The Port Jervis Teachers Association members ratified the
four-year contract by a majority vote of 222 to 21 on September
17. It was then approved the following night by the Port Jervis
School District Board of Education.
“This contract is great for our students, works for our teachers
and it is fair to our taxpayers,”
said School District Superintendent John Xanthis.
Teachers have agreed not to take a salary increase this year.
Increases for the remainder of the contract are limited to a one
percent raise next year, and 1.25 percent increase for the
2014-15 and 2015-16 school years. They have also agreed to
contribute more toward their health insurance plan. The amount
will increase gradually each year until the last year of the
contract when teachers will pay 12 percent.
The compromise was reached August 6 in a marathon meeting that
lasted eight hours. “I am very pleased that both sides put their
differences aside and came together to reach a deal,” said PJTA President Regis Foster, who worked along the district
central administrators, School Board Vice President William
Smith, and 10 teacher-negotiators to reach an
agreement. He noted that, "Given the economic conditions we are
facing, this contract is fair and equitable for all."
“The School Board is very appreciative to the teachers union.
Now that the contract has been overwhelmingly approved, we can
move forward and focus on the important tasks at hand –
educating our students and implementing the new common core
curriculum,” said Board President Cathy Sadaghiani.
Xanthis noted that “the agreement is an example of what’s
possible when all parties work together.” He said, “Collaboration isn’t easy, and trust isn’t
built overnight, but both are key to resolving differences and
paving the way for a lasting district-union partnership.”