22 Aug 2014
65° Overcast
Patch Instagram photo by patch
Patch Instagram photo by urisummer

School Committee Ratifies Collective Bargaining Agreement

The committee ratified the agreement 5-1 in a special meeting on Tuesday.

School Committee Ratifies Collective Bargaining Agreement

 The Newport School Committee ratified a collective bargaining agreement during a special meeting on Tuesday at the The agreement passed five to one, with Thomas Phelan opposed.

Robert Leary was not present at the meeting.

According to Superintendent John Ambrogi, the agreement will result in $78,985 in total savings to the district.

The agreement also includes two percent wage increases for the final two years of the contract, which averages out to a one percent increase over the four-year contract.

“The union has agreed to the planned changes, saving the district 8.4 percent a year,” he said.

Ambrogi said the biggest issue in terms of fiscal impact is the elimination of extended benefits for a portion of membership. The agreement states that anyone who has less than 15 years as of July 1 will no longer be eligible for extended benefits, which includes 35 members of Council 94.

Total savings would equal $419,328.

“That savings alone going forward is $14.5 million for a 20 year period,” Ambrogi said. “. . .it is a cost avoidance to the district and tax payers.”

He added that he was appreciative of the fact that members of Council 94 were understanding of the future liability.

“Those people will continue to be eligible (13 people) for lifetime healthcare,” he said.

Total avoidance of future liability for the district as a result of the contract is $17.1 million, he added.

“That is the big news in terms of this contract.”

Committee member Jo Eva Gaines also commended Council 94 for “putting taxpayers and kids ahead of any person gains.”

“You made a tremendous sacrifice, you did it with grace and I’m proud to be working with you,” she said.

Phalen, who was opposed to the agreement, said he has “always had a problem with buy backs.”

“I think it’s changed for the worse,” he said.

Total avoidance of future liability for the district as a result of the contract is $17.1 million, Ambrogi said.

“That is the big news in terms of this contract.”

Share This Article