Administrators, Region 16 board agree to new deal

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REGION 16 — Administrators in the Region 16 school district have a new three-year contract.

The Region 16 Board of Education, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, approved the deal with the Region 16 School Administrators’ Association earlier this month. The contract runs from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2021.

The union represents 11 administrative positions, including principals, assistant principals and three administrators that work in the district office.

Under the contract, administrators will receive general wage increases each year of the deal.

Salaries will go up 1.3 percent in the first year of the contract, according to the contract. In the 2019-20 fiscal year, administrators at steps one through four of the salary scale will get a 2 percent general raise while people at step five — the highest point — will get 2.1 percent raises.

Administrators at steps one through four will get a 2.1 percent general raise while employees at step five will get 2.12 percent raises in the final year of the contract.

The general raises do not include salary increases that come with step advancements. Under the contract, administrators will advance one step each year of the deal.

A salary table in the contract shows that the salary for the Woodland Regional High School principal position will be $151,281 in 2018-19 at the highest step. That will increase to $155,462 at the highest step in 2020-21, according to the contract.

The contract offers administrators an option for health care plans. They can choose between a PPO plan with a $400/$800/$1000 deductible or a High Deductible Health Care plan and health savings account with a $2,000 deductible for an individual and a $4,000 deductible for two people or more.

Under the contract, the board will pay 76.25 percent of the cost for the PPO in the first year. The board’s cost share drops to 75.75 percent in the second year and 75.25 percent in the third year, according to the contract.

The board will pay 82.5 percent for the high deductible plan in the first year of the contract. The board’s share falls to 82 percent in the second year and 81.5 percent in the third year, under the contract.

Superintendent of Schools Michael Yamin estimated that the net cost of the contract to the district will be an additional $120,000 over the life of the deal.

“I think it’s a good contract. I think we have excellent administrators,” said Yamin, adding the contract was resolved in three negotiation sessions.

Yamin said the region would have liked to give administrators more.

“However,” he said, “we have to be receptive to the state of the budget and to the needs of our kids, and I’m hoping that the administrators feel it’s fair and equitable.”

Union President Brian Fell, who is an assistant principal and the athletic director at Woodland, said administrators play a large role in the success of the region, but they understand times are tough.

“You’ve got to strike that balance between what’s fair to the administrators and also fair to the taxpayers of the towns, and I think we were able to do that,” Fell said.

Fell said there’s give and take with every contract negotiation.

“I think the board was more than gracious in their negotiations and I thought our administrators were gracious as well, and that’s why we were able to come to what I think is a fair contract to everybody involved in a fairly quick amount of time,” he said.