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Both sides happy with Carlynton teachers' contract

| Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The five-year contract agreed upon by Carlynton teachers and the school board is full of compromises.

“Everyone got something, but no one got everything,” board president David Roussos said. “It was challenging to come to a place where we felt the contract was going to be fair to all parties.”

The contract includes provisions for a yearly raise of $1,350 — a number that is low, according to Roussos, who has been involved in three contract negotiations.

“This is the lowest increase, in terms of actual dollars provided to teachers, that I have seen,” he said. “I think it's reflective of the times we're in.”

The teachers also agreed to an increase in what they pay into their health care.

During the last year of the previous contract, teachers under the “family plan” were contributing about $1,100 toward their health coverage. That total will increase by $300 each year of the new contract. By the last year of the new contract, teachers will be contributing more than $2,600 toward their coverage.

Roussos said that while negotiations were tough, they were also amiable.

“I give credit to the (Carlynton Federation of Teachers) negotiating team,” he said. “They were certainly strong advocates for their rank and file, but they were also listening to us and understanding of what our position was.”

Federation president Carrie Badger could not be reached for comment.

Contract negotiations began before the June 30 expiration of the previous contract, and, Roussos said, the negotiating teams had reached an agreement within two weeks of that deadline.

“We didn't quite make that deadline, but we were close,” he said.

He cited understanding between the two sides as the main factors contributing to positive negotiations.

“This was successful because each side respected the other,” he said. “Each was listening to the other side's concerns and points of view.”

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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