District, teachers reach contract deal

AMSTERDAM – The Greater Amsterdam School District Board of Education and the Amsterdam Teachers Association have reached a new contract, which the district says will save about $800,000 next year.

The new contract runs through June 30, 2017. The association represents the district’s 300 teachers.

The contract provides teachers no raise in the current school year, but includes an increase in four subsequent years of 1 percent, 1.25 percent, 1.5 percent and 1.75 percent, respectively.

The $800,000 savings to the district will come as a result of the union’s agreement to switch to a Blue Cross health insurance plan, according to a news release, effective May 1, saving the district an additional $240,000 in the current school year.

The settlement will enable the district to introduce a pilot program that adds an academic period at both the middle school and high school, allowing students access to more core classes, electives and advisory time, the release said.

The pact also includes an increase of five professional development hours for teachers, and retroactively includes an on-time agreement for teacher evaluation, making the district eligible for future grants.