BOARD RATIFIES CHEA CONTRACT IN SPECIAL ACTION ON NOVEMBER 19
Two-Year Pact Lengthens Secondary School Day Beginning September 2013
In special action on Monday, November 19, the Cherry Hill Board of Education ratified a new teachers' contract that will add 30 minutes of instructional time to the secondary (Grades 6-12) school day beginning in September 2013. At the elementary schools and the Barclay Early Childhood Center, the 30 minutes will be added to the teacher work day.
The two-year pact was ratified on November 15 by the Cherry Hill Education Association, the bargaining unit that represents the district’s 1,070 teachers, school secretaries, and support personnel.
“Enhancing opportunities for instruction was the key priority for both negotiating teams in this contract settlement,” said Dr. Maureen Reusche, Superintendent of Schools.
The additional 30 minutes equates to approximately 14 days of instruction over the course of the school year – a significant gain.
“The additional time provides increased opportunities for student learning to ultimately impact student achievement,” Dr. Reusche said. “This agreement is just one more indication of the professionalism of our teachers and their commitment to student success.”
At the elementary level, the additional 30 minutes will be used for Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings.
“The model that Cherry Hill has adopted for PLCs engages teachers in the analysis of student achievement data and the examination of instructional practices contributing to achievement gains,” Dr. Reusche said. Because these meetings currently take place during the school day, the elementary schools will gain some grade-level core instructional time.
CHEA agreed to move into the State Employee Health Benefits Plan for prescription coverage, which is expected to provide substantial savings over the contract’s two years.
The average annual salary increase for teachers is 3.36% in 2012-2013 and 2.93% in 2013-2014. Savings achieved by negotiating the change in the prescription insurance carrier reduces the average annual budgetary impact to 2.9% and 2.61%, respectively, and the net two-year impact to 2.76% - about 3/10ths of a percent higher than the average settlement in Camden County this year.
Board of Education President Seth Klukoff expressed gratitude to the Board’s negotiating team - Steve Robbins, Colleen Horiates, and Eric Goodwin. He also praised the CHEA team for understanding the priority of increased instructional time and negotiating in good faith from the outset.
“We view this contract negotiation as mutually successful,” Mr. Klukoff said, “and we view the additional 30 minutes as another significant step in enhancing the quality of education for our students.”
The contract will be retroactive to July 1, 2012 and will continue through June 30, 2014.
The district has begun preparing a “Frequently Asked Questions” document for parents to provide specifics of how the new contract will impact the school day beginning in September 2013. Click HERE to view.