The Town Council Wednesday unanimously approved the terms struck between the Ledyard Educational Association and the Board of Education for a three-year period from 2013- 2015.
Ledyard teachers will receive an average raise of 2.8 percent for the next three years, according to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Graner.
In 2013-13, teachers will get a zero increase of their general wages and a 1.5 step increase for teachers at the top step and 2.56 percent step increase for teachers on steps 2-16.
In 2014-15, the general wage increase (GWI) is 1.5 percent; the combined step and GWI increase is 2.95 percent increase.
In 2015-2016, the GWI is 1.5 percent, the combined step and GWI is a 2.99 percent increase.
The 2010-2013 contract included a zero general wage and step increase the first year; a 2.5 percent general wage increase and 4.26 percent GWI and step increase in the middle year; and, a 2.70 percent GWI and a 4.27 percent step and GWI increase
“In 2008… at the time the total general wage increase plus steps is about a four percent increase but we voted to approve that because the negotiations had taken place during better times,” said Councilor Bill Saums. “ So, this time the negations have taken place during the current recession and they were much more reasonable in total. I appreciate what the board and the union had to do.”
The percentage of their health insurance premiums also increased under the new contract. Teachers now pay 17 percent but their share will increase to 18 percent, then 18.5 and finally to 19 percent over the three-year contract. And, they’ll have to pay an extra $5 for some prescriptions although the $10 generic prescription costs remain unchanged.
Anecdotally, the state statute only allows the Town Council to move to reject the contract, which Councilor Sharon Wadecki moved, and Councilor Mike France seconded. All councilors rejected the motion to reject the contract.
“It takes a no to approve,” said Councilor Kevin Dombrowski. “It feels good to vote no every once in a while.”
The Town Council also approved the Mayor’s raises for the people heading some town departments. The raises are approximately 2 to 2.75 percent, which is in line with the rest of the town employee wage increases negotiated this year, according to Saums.
According to Mayor John Rodolico, the people serving in those roles had not received a raise in at least three years.
But, according to Town Council Chair Linda Davis, the employee raises are not harbingers of good times to come.
“Every year we say this is going to be a tough year well, this is going to be a tough year we’re already starting off way behind,” she said. “I anticipate a challenging year…the tough work is starting in January.”
The public is welcome to attend Town Council meetings, which take place in the Council Chambers of the Town Hall Annex at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Check the town’s website for meeting agendas and updates.