At a meeting held on March 1, the School Committee, Town Council and Teacher’s Alliance of Coventry ratified a new three year agreement. According to school department officials, the contract will not result in any anticipated tax increases for Coventry residents.
"In these challenging fiscal times, all parties came to the bargaining table and agreed to a contract that is fair to taxpayers, fair to our students and fair to the teaching professionals," stated a release from committee and department members. "The members of the Coventry Teacher’s Alliance made significant but necessary economic concessions in order to reach this accord."
The release also offered a note to taxpayers: "While we do not anticipate funding increases for contractual obligations, the schools continue to have capital needs, and projected housing development could place an added burden on our schools in future years."
Over the course of the 3 year agreement:
• There will be a salary freeze and step freeze for teachers during the first year of the agreement
• Teachers will increase their contribution to their healthcare insurance premiums from 15% to 18% over the three years of the agreement.
• Teachers have increased their healthcare co-pays for office visits, urgi-care and emergency room treatment.
• The Coventry School Committee and the Coventry Teachers’ Alliance have agreed to establish a joint committee to research the future of the district healthcare plan and identify new, cost-effective healthcare options.
• There has been a complete restructuring of the longevity scale. This will achieve significant savings over the course of this contract and beyond.
• New criteria, beyond mere seniority, for certain specialized positions.
• A Coventry developed and RIDE approved new educator evaluation system is now a part of the agreement.
• The “no layoff clause” has been removed.
• Increased management rights.
• Savings in the areas above will allow for a salary increase in years 2 and 3 however, there is no anticipated increase to taxpayers for the next three years to fund the contractual obligations.