New three-year contract with Burrillville teachers’ union sees co-pay increase, no raise for most educators

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BURRILLVILLE – A recently signed agreement between the Burrillivllle School Department and the Burrillville Teachers’ Association gives no pay increase to teachers in steps 1 through 10 for the next three years, and gradually increases insurance co-pays for union staff.

The contract, signed Wednesday, May 26, goes into effect this September, and covers the period through August of 2024. The union’s last contract expired in 2020, but will remain in effect until the new agreement kicks in this fall, in keeping with terms of the previous deal with the union.

The contract retains union efforts to decrease class sizes that began during the prior contract period, limiting classrooms to 22 students in grades kindergarten through 2; 26 students in grades 3 through 5; and 27 students in grades 6 through 12. Prior to 2018, all grade levels in Burrillville had a minimum of 21, and a maximum of 27, students per classroom.

Terms dictate that If new students moved into town after Oct. 20 of a given school year, classes can accommodate a maximum of 23 student in the youngest grade levels, 27 in 3rd through 5th grade classrooms, or 28 for grades 6 and up. The prior agreement allowed an increase of up to 29 students per class to accommodate families who transferred into the district.

The deal changes the rules for sabbatical leave, dictating that it will be granted to no more than one teacher per year, down from two annually, and educators must now have completed 11 consecutive full school years to be eligible, up from 7 years.

Insurance co-pays, which gradually increased in the previous contract from 15 to 17 percent, will do so again in the coming years, to 17.5 percent beginning this September. The co-pay for health and dental insurance increases to 18 percent in the following year, and 18.5 percent in 2023.

The contract offers no raises through 2024 for teachers in steps 1 through 10.  Step 11 teachers, who had a base salary of $79,445 in the 2019-2020 school year, will receive $80,239 for 2021/2022 year, and $82,245 for 2022/2023. For the 2022 to 2023 school year, top step teachers will receive a base salary of $84,301.

“Both the Burrillville School Committee and the Burrillville Teachers’ Association recognize the importance of maintaining a sound educational system with high academic standards,” notes the preamble to the three year deal, signed by School Committee Chairperson Alexandra LeClaire and BTA President Nick Servidio. “Together, we believe that this can be achieved through a dynamic and innovative curriculum, through the recruitment and retention of a dedicated faculty, and through the commitment to provide the material and technology support necessary to adapt our programs to an ever changing world.”

The full 70-page contract, which applies to all 208 active members according to the BTA website, is available online here.

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