Lakewood Board Approves New Teachers Contract Through 2013-14
The Lakewood Board of Education at a special meeting on May 18 approved a new contract with the Lakewood Teachers Association (LTA) that will run through the 2013-2014 school year. The new contract replaces the current contract that was to expire after the 2012-2013 school year. As part of the administration’s efforts to close a projected $12.4 million budget deficit in 2015, the district’s labor unions agreed to re-open their contracts for negotiation.
The new contract will yield approximately $2 million in savings through fiscal year 2014. Teachers will take a 0% base pay increase in 2013-2014, pay 5% more for health care beginning in 2012-2013, and participate in a retirement incentive program in 2013-2014.
Superintendent Jeffrey W. Patterson commented, "We appreciate LTA coming to the table and working with us to accomplish these savings. We recognize that this is something that they did not have to do, but they saw the need, and helped us develop a plan that will maintain the financial security of the district for years to come."
Added LTA president Colleen Corrigan: "Lakewood's schools have been a source of pride for the community, the district, and, certainly, the teachers for many years. So many students have benefited from the educational programs and opportunities offered in our schools. Unfortunately, the recession coupled with a decrease in state funding has forced many districts to cut programming and personnel. We wanted to do what we could to minimize those cuts so that current as well as future students will be afforded the same opportunities."
In the 2012-2013 school year, teachers will be instructing students two additional days while professional development will occur on an ongoing basis throughout the year with periodic early dismissal of students. Parents will receive plenty of notice about these early release times prior to the beginning of the school year.
Patterson noted, "Our primary goal is to improve student achievement for all students. The increased school days next year and the release time for professional development will help us implement the new, more rigorous Common Core standards required by the State of Ohio."
Later this month, the district will be re-negotiating contracts with its two other labor unions, OAPSE 129 and OAPSE 134, which represent the district’s support staff.
Patterson will be presenting the administration’s proposed comprehensive financial plan to close the district’s budget gap at the Board’s May 21 meeting, 7 p.m. at Horace Mann Elementary School, 1251 W. Clifton Blvd.