CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

March 8, 2012

Support Teacher Contract


With March right around the corner, The Exeter Education Association (EEA) would like to take this opportunity to share with you, the tax-payer, some important information about the current proposed teacher contract on the Cooperative School District voting ballot. This contract represents 255 teachers who have currently been without a contract for two years. Two key components that have hindered public support before were medical benefits and the requested amount of salary increase.

At the negotiation table EEA took those concerns into consideration when they met with the board members from the Cooperative School Board who represent the taxpayers within the six sending communities. We feel that the current proposal that is being presented to you has taken into account those concerns, is fair, and has been recommended for approval by both the Cooperative School Board and the budget advisory committee. The annual increase per household ranges from $0.73 to $4.64 per week when broken down further.

Contract highlights include:

A change in health insurance contribution from the employee resulted in significant savings to the district and the taxpayers for next year and years to come. (84/16 split after two years, currently at 12% for employees).

The proposed contract is a two-year contract instead of a three-year contract (2.15% salary increase each year). The contract supports 255 teachers.

The teachers within the Cooperative do not consider their job ending directly after student dismissal. Many hours are spent after school volunteering time towards chaperoning extra-curricular field trips, after school clubs, drama presentations and practices, dances, intramural sports, and Open House and transitional parent nights at both EHS and CMS. In addition to those services provided to the students, we also take pride in our profession and volunteer our time towards district curriculum committee work as well.

At this critical time, we ask the community members to consider the impact two years without a raise; an increase in the employee retirement contribution, and an increase of the cost of living has had on our teachers. Should this contract fail, it will become increasingly difficult to attract and retain quality educators to our district and time spent volunteering for clubs and activities may be impacted due to employees seeking other jobs. Help us make education a priority and vote 'Yes' for Warrant Article #4 on the Co-op ballot.

Kimberly Houtaling

On behalf of the

Exeter Education Association