On Jan. 5, the Board of Education met in a special meeting to approve the revised contract between the Cheshire BOE and Cheshire administrative personnel.
Superintendent of Schools Jeff Solan gave a brief overview of the events that followed the rejection of their last contract recommendation, which was presented to the Town Council in November of last year.
“The Town ultimately rejected the contract we submitted to them in November that we all unanimously agreed upon,” he began. “I met with Vin (Masicana, Chief Operations Officer) and the administrative negotiations team and we talked about the fact that arbitration would be the next step and, unfortunately, with everything else that everyone is juggling right now, I made the decision...to look at revising the terms of the contract if that will support this process…”
The changes to the contract include increasing the insurance HSA (health savings account) co-share to 12, 13, and 15 percent for each year of the agreement and an annuity increase of $500 dollars in the first year, $750 in the second year, and approximately $1,000 in the third year, according to Solan. The annuity increase in the first contract recommendation called for $1,000 each year.
“I just wanted to thank the administrators for renegotiating this contract,” said BOE member Anne Harrigan. “I thought that the contract that we had prior to it being dismissed by the Town Council was fair, it was negotiated in good faith, and it helped us, the Board of Ed, to keep our budget balanced knowing what we needed over the coming years to get these administrative salaries up to where they need to be … I just appreciate that they were willing to go back and take a second look at what they could do …”
All of the BOE members voiced their support for the new contract, and how important the administrative team is to the District as a whole.
“Our administrative team is at the lower end of the (District Reference Group B) pay scale... so I think it’s really great that they stayed, and we were able to negotiate. It speaks to the fact they really like working here” said BOE member Andrew Martelli.
The contract was then put to a vote, where it passed unanimously. The terms of the contract would run from July 1, 2021 to July 20, 2024. The next Board of Education meeting is scheduled for this evening at 7:30 p.m.