NFA, teachers' union reach three-year contract agreement

Norwich — The Norwich Free Academy Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved a new three-year contract with the teachers' union that calls for a nearly 3 percent raise per year for the nearly 200 unionized teachers.

The new three-year contract, effective July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2023, provides an overall salary increase of 9 percent, with 3.04 percent the first year, 3.17 percent in year two and 2.79 percent in the final year. There are no changes related to health insurance.

“The dedicated faculty at NFA is vital to the success of our students,” DeVol Joyner, chairman of the NFA Board of Trustees, said in a press release announcing the deal. “This agreement, reached after thoughtful deliberations, allows our faculty to continue their focus of providing outstanding learning opportunities for our students.”

English teacher Bryan Burdick, co-president of the union and chairman of the union negotiations committee, attended Tuesday’s board meeting. After the vote, Burdick said the contract “represents really good, thoughtful negotiations” and was pleased the contract was finalized on schedule.

“This new contract is the result of hard work by both sides to reach a mutually beneficial agreement,” Burdick said in the press release. “I am grateful for the effort of our faculty, especially the members of the negotiations committee, throughout the negotiation process, and I am appreciative of our administration for working together for the overall benefit of our students.”

Head of School David Klein called the negotiation process “collaborative and focused.”

During Tuesday’s meeting, the board discussed the start of the budget process. The raises will be part of next year’s budget, but Lucinda Finger, director of finance and human resources, told the board during the meeting that school administrators have asked departments to “stay flat” in their budget requests for next year. She cautioned, however, that early indications are that liability insurance and health insurance premiums are expected to increase significantly.

c.bessette@theday.com

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