The Verona Board of Education and Verona Education Association have revealed the terms of a new contract for Verona’s teachers, administrative assistants, and maintenance staff that will be in effect until June 30, 2021. The contract, which the BOE approved on September 11, is retroactive to July 1, 2018.
The agreement provides salary increases of 2.75%, 2.90% and 2.90% in each year of the contract, with distribution varying across the salary guide depending on the individual’s credentials. The existing health benefit plans and staff health insurance premium contribution structure will remain in effect.
In addition, the BOE and the VEA agreed to include doctoral studies in the tuition reimbursement program. Custodial overtime procedures were clarified to develop an equitable assignment system based on seniority, and the payment structure for summer work by 10-month administrative assistants was aligned with teacher practices. One other thing of note to parents: Under the new contract, parent-teacher conferences will only be required in the fall. The district says this was done to provide more instructional time in the spring.
“The success of the Verona Public Schools is driven by the collective efforts of our staff,” said BOE President John Quattrocchi in a release. “The compensation profile of the staff, which includes salaries, stipends, and benefits, comprise over 65% of the total annual district budget. The Verona Education Association represents over 200 of those staff members, across various employee roles. We must always strive to balance competitive compensation, professionalism & quality of life in the workplace, and the boundaries of our budgets. That balance is best managed with a long-term strategy, covering many years at a time, across multiple contracts, in order to keep our finances in order and to keep Verona a great place to learn, to work, and to live. We thank the collective efforts of both sides through the negotiations process and we are pleased to have a solid contract for the coming years.”
Christopher Tamburro, VEA president, lauded the terms of the agreement. “We are pleased to have developed a competitive contract for our teachers, administrative assistants, custodians, maintenance personnel, medical staff, and counselors. This agreement begins to address the lower take-home salaries that many of our members face each year due to tax caps, increased health benefit contributions, and higher pension contributions. We are pleased that the Association and Board were able to work together to create a contract that will help to retain our excellent, student-oriented staff.”