by Sharon Michaels
WORDEN — The Huntley Project teachers’ union has asked for a one-year contract with a 4.5 percent increase in wages and a $25 increase to help pay insurance costs.
The Huntley Project Education Association (HPEA) met with board of trustees’ negotiations committee, Mark Jones and Tim Moullet, on Monday, April 12.
The school district’s base pay now is $28,850 and the insurance cost to the district is $543 monthly. Clerk Rita Huck explained the district is looking at other options for insurance because the current policy for a family would be over $1,000 per month.
“I apologize for not having our budget completed,” Superintendent Wes Coy told the negotiators. “Rita and I will need to complete it before any decisions can be reached. You can go through it with us, if you wish. We have nothing to hide,” Coy said. “We should have it completed by our Monday, April 26, meeting.”
Moullet said, “We are limited by budget.”
Jones voiced his concerns about the contract language stating teachers would be notified by April 1 on non-renewal of their contracts.
“I see this as a potential problem and how does it benefit our students to have a teacher teaching for two months that would not be back next year?” Jones asked. “Districts usually wait until June 1, don’t they?”
“That is the law but most schools decide in May, because teachers have 20 days to sign their contract after receiving it,” said Huck.
The HPEA opted for the May 1 change. All final decisions for contracts would need approval from the entire board.
The next scheduled negotiation meeting is set for Monday, April 26, at 5 p.m.