Lincoln School Committee approves collective bargaining, union votes later this week

Lincoln School Committee approves collective bargaining, union votes later this week

LINCOLN - The Lincoln School Committee unanimously voted to finalize the tentative collective bargaining agreement for teacher contracts during Monday's meeting at Lincoln Middle School.

Supt. Georgia Fortunato and Lincoln Teachers Association President Fred Hoppe said they are almost ready to finalize the new contracts and that a vote from the union is likely to be cast this week. If the union approves, both sides will be able to sign the agreement next week.

Neither Fortunato nor Hoppe would comment on specific details, but with a big smile on his face, Hoppe shook hands with all the School Committee members when the meeting adjourned.

"We are very close to getting a contract, and I'm confident that a press release will be coming shortly," Fortunato said.

According to their previous contract, teachers pay a 16 percent co-payment for all health care and dental, an increase of 1 percent from 2012-2013.

Fortunato said there would be no step increases until a new contract is agreed upon, and any changes under the new contract would be retroactive.

According to the 2011-2014 contract, no raises were provided, but top-step teachers received an increase of $1,535 per year for three years.

Also during Monday's meeting, Fortunato said no teachers in the district will be losing their jobs, and the three teachers previously laid off had their notices rescinded and have been brought back for the 2015-2016 school year.

The committee also unanimously approved the implementation of the OPEB trust for post-employment benefits. Chairwoman Kristine Donabedian said the committee moved $200,000 into the trust and that the only money for health care can be taken out.

In the superintendent's end-of-year report, Fortunato announced that U.S. News & World Report ranked Lincoln High School No. 4 in the state for the second consecutive year.

In other accolades, Central Elementary schoolteacher Karen Costa was awarded Lincoln Teacher of the Year. Also, 8th-grade students attained national recognition for excellent performance on the 2015 National Spanish Examinations. Students in Jennifer London's Spanish I class earned three silver medals and one bronze medal along with 17 honorable mentions.

The committee also awarded citations for four of its retirees: Saylesville Elementary teacher Celeste Mellen, Lincoln Middle School teacher Richard Anterni, and high school teachers Mary Ann McComisky and Marilaine Bell, who have a total 105 years of service to the school district.

Comments

It looks like this article missed the best part of the meeting.
The executive session was held at the middle of the meeting so the public would get tired and leave, well not everyone fell for it.
Mary Ann McComisky's comments were right on the mark about the climate and direction of the Lincoln School department. Good for her for standing up to that bully.

Regarding the climate and culture of the Lincoln School Department. Maybe the question that should be asked is Why another effective Administrator was forced out of the Lincoln School System.

It is outrageous that the superintendent and committee have to resort to dirty tricks to hide the decisions that they are making.

And as far as the treatment that was given to the middle school principal they should be ashamed.

"The committee also awarded citations for four of its retirees......who have a total 105 years of service to the school district." That is only a 27 year career to qualify for a pension. How sweet is that. Graduate at 22, get your masters on the job, and retire in your fifties. How sweet it is. How many private sector careers can claim that? I remember when teachers taught longer and bring more wisdom to the career.