By PETER HUSSMANN
Teachers in the Newton school district union are asking for "a reasonable package increase" from the district that would include a 1 percent salary increase, covering the insurance increase without changes to coverage and aging of the salary schedule.
The proposals, including the possibility of a mult-year agreement should terms be acceptable, were included in the Newton Community Education Association's initial contract proposal made to the school district on Monday.
In addition to the salary and insurance coverage requests, the Newton teacher's union is asking that a $500 bonus be provided for five consecutive years of coaching a particular sport. The calculation of the five years would begin according to the following proposed schedule:
2012-13 - Basketball, Volleyball, Baseball, Softball, Spirit Squads
2013-14 - Swimming, Tennis, Golf, Wrestling, Track, Soccer
2014-15 - Football, Publications, Music, Drama, Cross Country, Bowling
2015-16 - Student Council, Speech, Cooperative Programs, Supervisory/Bookkeeping
The union is also asking for some changes to the current contract language pertaining to voluntary transfers and sick leave.
In regard to transfers, the NCEA is aksing for new language that states that "consideration for transfer will be given to teachers within the building where the vacancy exist, then to the like-grade level building, then to the like-geographic area building and finally to the building of the other grade level in the other geographic area."
In regard to sick leave, the union is asking that employees be allowed the option of allocating up to five of their accrued sick days to the Sick Day Bank for use by employees who are out of sick days but must miss school because of personal illness or injury. Individuals would be allowed to use up to 10 days from the Sick Day Bank each year. The superintendent would be allowed discretion to grant additional use of Sick Bank Days to an employee under extenuating circumstances.
Further, the NCEA is asking that unused sick days be paid upon retirement at the rate of $20 per day unused. At the five-year anniversary of employment in the district and at each subsequent five-year anniversay, employees would have the option of trading unused sick days for a Series E savings bond with a face value equal to $20 per day redeemed.
The Newton Community School District will make its initial contract proposal to the teacher's union in the near future. The union reserved the right to raise additional items in response to the district's proposals.