After the new teachers contract is signed, school board President John Wroblewski shakes the hand of teachers union president Jane Martin as school board member and negotiator Jack Fisher looks on. (Photo by Hope Franz)
By Hope Franz
MILFORD — Teachers in the Delaware Valley School District agreed to a two-year wage freeze in a long-awaited contract signed Sept. 20.
Jack Fisher, the chief negotiator for the school board, had high praise for DV's teachers that he said he had to suppress while negotiations were going on.
“There is no doubt we have the best teachers and staffers in the state," he said.
Fisher said that if he negotiates for the board three years from now, he will remember the teachers' concession this year, which will help the school through a "very, very difficult financial situation."
Teachers worked under their old contract through 20 months of negotiations. The main point of discussion was whether to raise school taxes, said physical education teacher Roger Klein, who was part of the negotiation team.
"The teachers chose to do this," Fisher said. "There was never a discussion of interrupting the education process" — meaning, the teachers never threatened to strike.
John McElhaney, the chief negotiator representing the teachers union, said members approved the contract 273-75 — a margin of four-to-one.
Fisher said the superintendent has also accepted a wage freeze, for three years.
"Leadership has its burdens," he said.
Board member Susan Schor said the new teachers contract "feels great as a school board member and as a parent." She added that she wished the district had more money to give its deserving teachers.
“The contract is fair to our taxpayers and to the teachers," said school board President John Wroblewski.
The contract includes the following provisions:
Two year wage freeze 3 percent increase in salary after three years 2.125 percent after four years
"We're all in this together," Fisher summed up. "We're all in this for the children."