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NFA, teachers union agree to new contract

By Claire Bessette

Publication: theday.com

Published January 07. 2014 6:00PM   Updated January 07. 2014 11:43PM

Norwich — The Norwich Free Academy’s Board of Trustees and the Education Association, Norwich Free Academy (EANFA) agreed to a new three-year contract for teachers Monday that will take effect July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2017.

In a press release, NFA officials described the negotiation process as “professional and respectful throughout and both parties negotiated passionately and thoughtfully.”

“The process was thorough and extremely professional. The decorum demonstrated throughout the process was consistent with the strong and noble core values that define Norwich Free Academy,” said David Klein, NFA’s head of school.

The three-year pact calls for an overall salary increase of 8.66 percent — 2.62 percent in the first year, 3.01 percent in the second year and 3.03 percent in the third year.

The parties also agreed to changes to the health insurance co-payments to begin in the first year and restrictions in two different health plans. Premium share contribution amounts for the Preferred Provider Organization, or PPO, and High Deductible Health Plan will also increase 1 percent each year.

Additional contract changes include tuition reimbursement for an advanced degree, sick leave provisions, and remuneration for teaching a sixth class.

“I’m very proud of the EANFA negotiation team’s effort throughout the lengthy process. I’m also pleased that there was mutual respect on both sides of the bargaining table,” Peggy Weaver, union co-president and negotiation team chairperson, said in a press release. “Although neither side got everything they wanted, I do believe that this was the best contract possible for both the Board of Trustees and Faculty.”

The NFA Board of Trustees said the board approved the contract unanimously during a special meeting Monday.

“That the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the agreement speaks volumes about the level of pride in and respect for our teaching family,” Theodore Phillips, chairman of the NFA Board of Trustees, said in the press release. “We appreciate that each day they give their all to providing NFA students with extraordinary educational opportunities.”

c.bessette@theday.com

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