School Board and NTFT Agreement Passed

By Rozy Kanjee

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After months of negotiation, the school board and NTFT union came to a final decision on Monday, March 21 regarding the restructuring plan for the school year 2011-2012.

The newly revised agreement entails a majority of the same points from the previous version the board and union agreed upon. The alterations in it are: $30,000 a year will be available for certification endorsement or high qualifying status to all teachers that apply in all departments,  as well as all P.E. teachers who are not coaching a varsity sport will have to teach six classes. Sophomore P.E. classes will have 30 students per class, since Health will now be embedded in them; however, this number is changeable. The tenured teachers who were scheduled to be dismissed previously are not going to be let go for the upcoming year.

“We’re happy that we were able to come to an agreement to save the 10 tenured teachers,” said board president Bob Silverman. “And that we are still able to save an additional $1 million in salaries and benefits next year.”

NTFT president Pankaj Sharma agreed.

“Clearly it is positive that we have reached an agreement,” said Sharma.  “And we sincerely hope that this will put an end to the unhealthy and contentious atmosphere in our schools that has been a major concern for teachers, students, and parents for the past three months.”

According to the community relations director, Jim Sczcepaniak, the agreement was put to a halt because of how the written agreement was worded.

“The concepts were approved by both sides,” he said. “But when it came time to [the written agreement], there was some disagreement in specific language about one of the issues.

According to the union, non-tenured teachers will be affected by the agreement; however, most non-tenured teachers have not been told of their employment status for next year due to staffing delays.