After months of negotiation, the Avon
Teachers’ Association and the Avon Board of Education reached an agreement to
ratify the teachers' contracts.
The contract, which will run through July of 2016, reflects changes in state law and Ohio’s continually changing educational funding system.
“Many of our teachers are members of this community and have a personal stake in the soundness of the Avon Local Schools," David J. Bruening, president of the Avon Teachers’ Association, said. "These are responsible people not interested in creating a financially burdensome school system; our teachers get it.”
The agreement includes a 1.5 percent base salary increase in each of the next three years coupled with additional insurance concessions to offset the rising cost of healthcare. The agreement also included changes in contract language to reflect the most recent state laws, including the implementation of the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System and the new teacher Residency Program.
“The overall net impact of the contract is in line with the District’s prior financial five year forecasts,” Avon Superintendent of Schools Mike Laub said. “This agreement comes on the heels of a two year pay freeze where teachers also contributed more towards insurance.”
Laub said he believed the fact that the settlement is in line with the five-year forecast is the most critical factor of the contract.
To balance their 1.5 percent increase in salary, teachers also accepted insurance concessions that reflected the nature of insurance benefits in the private sector, Bruening said.
“Many of our younger teachers are paying upwards of $700/month in college loans and starting families, these are tough times for these new professionals and we are pleased that the Avon Board of Education understand both the needs of the community and the needs of their employees,” Bruening said. “I have lead our organization through perhaps 4 or 5 contract negotiations during my tenure with the Avon. And these were by far the most constructive and fair minded discussions I have ever been a part.”
He felt the Avon negotiations could serve as a model for other school districts.
“We had to, as a team and not as opponents, construct a working document that would reflect the massive changes in education,” Bruening said, “and we did that with a keen eye toward maintaining an efficient and award winning school system for all the families in Avon.”
The contract is still being generated and reviewed for accuracy and was not available for review.