Adam Piasecki, president and chief negotiator of the Ithaca Teachers Association, signed a tentative agreement with the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) that will increase teacher payroll by more than 27 percent over the term of the contract. The unprecedented labor agreement will expand employee health insurance benefits, increase stipends for paid teachers who work extra duties, provide additional tuition-free slots in ICSD schools for children of teachers who live outside of the district, and deliver targeted flat-rate pay increases in the first, third, and fifth years of the contract. Board of Education member Brad Grainger is glad to see educators being given the compensation they deserve.
“The Board of Education recognizes the competitive market for top educators requires a competitive compensation package,” Grainger said. “This contract will increase payroll 27 percent over six years. While aggressive, it is needed to assure the continued recruitment of the best educators in New York. The budget will be stretched to meet these contracts, but Ithaca residents have indicated support for our teaching professionals.”
Along with this, the ICSD has reached a six-year collective bargaining agreement with ESP/I, which includes yearly pay increases of three or four percent for paraprofessionals, including teacher aides and assistants, and protects health care benefits. Superintendent Luvelle Brown is glad to see the fruits of the district’s collective bargaining. He also said the pay increases and length associated with the new contract are noteworthy achievements for the district.