BEDFORD, N.Y.— The Bedford Central School District Board of Education voted Wednesday to extend the district's Civil Service Employees Association’s (CSEA) contract to 2017.
After numerous previous discussions with the employee group, the board unanimously approved a memorandum of agreement at its regular meeting to extend the current 2007-2012 contract, which was set to expire June 30, for five more years, to June 30, 2017.
The agreement, which was already approved by the union, includes some modifications to the contract, so as not to exceed the two percent tax cap passed by the state, which limits increases in the property tax levy to either two percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. The contract will give civil service employees, or non-teaching staff, 1 percent salary raises for 2012, 2013 and 2016, and 1.5 percent raises for 2014 and 2015.
It also increases employees' health insurance contribution rates so that new employees will pay a 15 percent rate, and employees who make less than $35,000 per year will have their current 8 percent rate bumped to 9 percent in 2013, to 10 percent in 2014, to 11 percent in 2014 and to 12 percent in 2015.
Employees who make more than $35,000 per year will maintain their 10 percent contribution rate until 2014, and it will rise to 11 percent in 2015 and to 12 percent in 2016.
At the meeting, Schools Superintendent Jere Hochman said that the CSEA negotiating committee had been meeting with the board and the administration to review district finances since the start of the school year.
Hochman said that it is clear CSEA members have agreed to this contract because they understand the current financial landscape and are willing to cooperate with the district in working through it.
"Our CSEA members are those who work behind-the-scenes yet keep our district operations and communications running and our schools, students and campuses safe," he said.
CSEA President Mary Lou Cavaliere, who is the district’s central registrar, said, “We strongly feel that for the economic times we are experiencing this contract addresses both the district’s tax-cap issue and safeguards CSEA’s major areas of concern."
Board President Susan Elion Wollin called the agreement “realistic and respectful of our staff and our community’s ability to support our schools.”
The memorandum of agreement can be found on the district's website.