Officials, teachers happy with new Mathews contract

VIENNA – Mathews teachers and school officials report they are satisfied with the three-year contract that was ratified after lengthy negotiations.

The new contract, which runs retroactively from Aug. 25, 2012, to Aug. 24, 2015, includes a base pay salary freeze and potential increase in insurance premiums.

Teachers who were hired prior to July 2008 and currently pay 5 percent of their premiums will continue to do so for two years. Premiums will increase to 10 percent the third year. Teachers hired after July 2008 already pay 10 percent of their premiums.

“It helps the district moneywise,” Superintendent Lewis Lowry said. “The board’s happy with it and that makes me happy. I think the community is happy with it.”

Lowry said some of the main sticking points during negotiations were salary, benefits and some of the language in the contract.

Union spokeswoman Carla Pacileo said the teachers are happy with the contract despite having to make some big sacrifices.

“We have taken three zeros all three years, and in the third year, many of our staff members will be paying double for their benefits, but we are happy that we were able to come to a conclusion,” she said.

”This district just passed a levy in November and we think in these economic times, our position is to work together with the board and the community to keep this an excellent district,” Pacileo said. “We’ve been rated excellent for the last six or seven years and we’d like to keep it that way.”

Lowry said the contract was passed unanimously by the board.