Salary increases approved for Gate City teachersBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
March 15. 2018 11:12PM
NASHUA — City officials have approved a new contract for local teachers that will provide them with a combined 10 percent salary increase by the end of the four-year bargaining agreement.
“I think this is a major step forward in fairly compensating our teachers for the work that they do in the classroom,” said Mayor Jim Donchess.
City teachers have been working without a contract for about seven months.
The new contract agreement between the Nashua Board of Education and the Nashua Teachers’ Union Local 1044 was unanimously approved by the Board of Aldermen on Wednesday, with one alderman abstaining from the vote.
Currently Donchess said some of the city’s highly trained and seasoned teachers are leaving the district for better pay in Amherst, Hollis and Manchester.
“The contract that you have before you, which is recommended by the budget committee, improves that situation considerably,” said the mayor.
Under the new contract, about 988 city teachers will have base salary increases of 3.6 percent in 2018, 3 percent in 2019, 1.8 percent in 2020 and 2.3 percent in 2021. The combined base pay for city teachers, including benefits, will jump from $59.3 million to about $65.9 million by the end of the contract, which runs from Sept. 1, 2017, to Aug. 31, 2021.
Gary Hoffman, a local teacher, said the new contract will boost the morale at the city’s public schools, explaining many teachers have been waiting a decade for a contract like this to be adopted.
Alderman Richard Dowd, Ward 2, acknowledged that school officials struggled with the step process, but said the new contract is focusing on years of service — a change that will make it easier for the district moving forward.
The union said previously that the agreement addresses placement on salary schedule and step schedule issues that arose during years when steps were frozen.
Negotiations have been ongoing for more than a year between the union and the school board, according to Adam Marcoux, president of the NTU. Negotiations began in January 2017, followed by one month of mediation and the declaration of an impasse in May.
“This contract goes and moves us forward when it comes to our salary schedule,” said Marcoux. “It is not perfect, but it is a start.”
The new agreement will provide four years of stability for city teachers, according to Marcoux, who thanked city officials for their support.