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Bedford School District, CSEA Reach New Contract

BEDFORD, N.Y. – The Bedford Central School District Board of Education and the Civil Service Employees Association have reached an agreement on a new contract.

The current agreement, which ended June 30, will be extended for five years and end June 30, 2017. School officials said salary and benefits increases are based on a principle that annual expenditure increases should not exceed the district’s three-year trend of a 2 percent-or-less tax levy increase.

According to Schools Superintendent Jere Hochman, union leaders have worked with the school board and administration to review district finances and budget forecasts. He said the union was willing to work with district leaders to help keep the district within the state-imposed 2 percent tax cap.

“We strongly feel that for the economic times we are experiencing this contract addresses both the district’s tax cap issue and safeguard’s CSEA’s major areas of concern,” said union President MaryLou Cavaliere. “The CSEA negotiating committee and the Board of Education worked cooperatively to finalize this contract in a timely manner. In view of the fact that we had overwhelmingly voted for a freeze when proposed by the district, we trust the Board of Education will support the CSEA when we reopen our contract in the fifth year.”

The new contract allows employees to continue to move up on the salary schedule as per past practice and wage increases will be 1 percent in 2012 and 2013, 1.5 percent in 2014 and 2015 and 1 percent in 2016.

“It is clear that our CSEA members understand the current financial landscape and are willing to be a partner in working through this,” Hochman said.

School board President Susan Elion Wollin called the agreement “realistic and respectful” of the staff and the community’s ability to support the district. “It reaffirms our CSEA membership as active partners with the Board of Education,” she said.

Mark Betz, assistant superintendent of schools, added the agreement provides “labor stability at an affordable price.”

The Board of Education voted unanimously to accept the agreement. More information is available on the district’s website under "employment contracts > CSEA."

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