After recent lengthy negotiations, an agreement has been reached between the Derry Cooperative School District and teachers on a new two-year deal.
With teachers agreeing to some concessions on health insurance, the two sides came to terms on the new two-year collective bargaining agreement, according to school officials.
School Board members voted to approve the new agreement in their Nov. 29 meeting. The cost in the first year is approximately $537,000, with a cost increase of about $525,000 in the second and final year of the contract, School Board Chairman Dan McKenna said in the meeting.
School officials had been negotiating with the representatives for the teachers in recent weeks to finalize the details of the two- year contract. The decision follows the successful negotiation last year of a one-year contract for teachers. The two sides were able to make progress in the negotiations when teachers agreed to a change in prescription co-pays, which saved district about $300,000 this year, McKenna said.
And this year, teachers again agreed to some concessions, McKenna said.
“We expect a similar savings next year off of what it would have been under the old agreement or before we had an agreement this past year,” McKenna said.
In this year’s negotiations, the teachers made changes in benefits, which helps offset some of the salary costs, McKenna said.
Some of the changes including switching out one insurance plan for another, he said.
“I think we came out with a good agreement and hopefully the community will support it in March,” McKenna said.
Meg Morse-Barry, president of the Derry Education Association, said she was grateful the two sides were able to come to terms before the Christmas holidays.
“I think we did work really hard and I think everybody put 150 percent effort into making sure we did come out with a contract,” she said. “Negotiations are tough, and they are long and they are tiring but everybody was willing to do the work that we needed to be done. And it’s so nice to have been done so early.