Norwalk BoE, NFT agree on arbitration terms

NORWALK, Conn. – Another “win-win” negotiation has been announced by the Norwalk Board of Education, in conjunction with the Norwalk Federation of Teachers (NFT).

The terms of the stipulated Binding Arbitration Award for the final year of the current teachers’ contract (from Sept. 1, 2015 to Aug. 31, 2016) were released Wednesday:

  • Grandfathering all +15 Lanes (BA+15, MA +15, 6th Year +15)
  • Grandfathering all on the existing doctorate degree column
  • Moving the doctorate column to a $2,500 stipend above the 7th year column
  • Eliminating longevity
  • Reducing the step movement from 33 steps to 22 steps to reach maximum

The financial cost of the settlement included a 1.5 percent gross wage increase (GWI) with a total increase of 3 percent when including steps, the press release said.  The BoE will realize the following savings:

  • Changing the doctorate column to a stipend will realize substantial savings over time
  • Eliminating the +15 columns will realize substantial savings over time

When the Board developed its 3-year multi-year budget, it projected NFT salaries for FY 2015-2016 based on the last award made by the 2009 arbitration panel, which called for a total increase of 4.5 percent following the salary freeze in 2013-2014, the release said. The agreed restructuring of the NFT compensation provisions included in the agreement announced today brings this increase down to 3.04 percent.

BoE Chairman Mike Lyons and NFT President Bruce Mellion both described this in the release as a “win- win” settlement for the final year of the contract, treating teachers fairly while being fiscally responsible, and with the hope that this will serve as a platform for  future contract negotiations between the parties.


5 responses to “Norwalk BoE, NFT agree on arbitration terms”

  1. John Hamlin

    These automatic increases with no adjustment for performance — no provision for evaluations and accountability — are an abomination. And the state system that forces Norwalk to operate this way is to blame. We need to press our state legislators to change this or we need to elect different legislators.

  2. MarjorieM

    Teachers are thrilled with the 3% raise. Thank you, BOE.

  3. Casey Smith

    @ John – I believe there are numerous teacher evaluations that occur for the staff, including the Smarter Balance testing where the students’ performance reflects on the teachers. It’s complicated — and since I’m not a teacher, I don’t understand it very well — but there is some kind of data team meeting at the schools where they analyze classroom observations and teacher’s performance. So I believe there is accountability that is linked to performance.

  4. Oldtimer

    It shouldn’t take long, when a teacher first starts working in the system, to weed out he personalities totally unsuited to the profession. This is the time when evaluation is very important, in my opinion. After the first few years, supervisors need to keep an eye on teacher’s performance and their student’s accomplishment, but not as closely as with new teachers. The BOE should have adopted a process that includes annual report cards by principals for each teacher.

  5. John Hamlin

    No indication that performance has any impact on compensation or that there is any accountability in any review. Teachers do not get terminated for failure to perform. The students just lose their opportunity to get a better education.

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