GLOVERSVILLE - The deal finalized Tuesday by the Gloversville Enlarged School District and its teachers union features slight pay increases and settles a grievance filed by the union over health insurance changes.
The three-year contract, announced April 22 and approved Monday by both the Gloversville Teachers Association and the district's Board of Education, ends 18 months of negotiations that included five sessions with a state-appointed mediator. The deal covers back to the beginning of this school year and expires June 30, 2012.
Teachers will see a 1 percent pay increase this school year, although the deal is retroactive for just six months of the school year - meaning teachers will get the equivalent of a 0.5 percent pay increase this school year. GTA members will then get a 1.5 percent increase next school year and a 1 percent increase for the 2011-12 school year.
"Both sides recognized the position we're in," Superintendent Robert DeLilli said Tuesday. "When you look around [at situations at other districts in] the state, I think it's fair."
The agreement also ends the legal wrangling over a switch in health insurance plans for the district's teachers. Earlier this school year, the district removed the indemnity plan, commonly referred to as the "Cadillac plan," and replaced it with a PPO plan. The school board did so without union approval.
The GTA later filed a grievance over the switch, which the district says saves more than $1 million in its annual budget. Under the new contract, the GTA has accepted the switch.
In addition to the raises and insurance switch, the deal also offers retirement incentives and freezes all other compensation schedules, which includes coaching and adviser stipends, as well as payments for tutoring and other services.
DeLilli expressed relief Tuesday about finally having a deal in place, although he was quick to point out that negotiations on the next contract are not that far away.
"We'll have a year to breathe," DeLilli said.