BOE votes to accept new contract

NASHUA – The Nashua Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the teachers’ union four-year contract Monday night with a vote of seven in favor and one abstention by Board President Dotty Oden.

The vote was met by applause from members of the union who were present in the audience.

In his presentation to the Board, Jahmal Mosley, superintendent, said the agreement “Honor(s) salaries according to years of experience” and addresses the lack of step increases that “was plaguing former contract(s).”

He noted in his presentation that the district had ignored previous years of step increases by making blanket additions to annual salaries instead, sometimes as low as $250, as was the case in the 2011-2012 school year.

In the last six contracts, only two of those years, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, addressed the step increases. This, he said, will work to solve that, helping to keep middle salary scaled teachers in the district who may have potentially moved, as has happened in the past.

“We’re on the right path,” Mosley said, adding that he hopes this will add some “peace and stability” to the district.

“This is the right thing to do for our educators, they deserve it,”he added.

Board member Howard Coffman was concerned for how the district would pay for the step increases each year.

Daniel Donovan, chief operating officer for the district, said that fiscal year 2018 will be the most difficult, as he will have to find an additional $100,000 in other accounts to meet the approximately $2.1 million needed from the $1.7 million in the operating budget.

The second year, he said, is accounted for in the budget, which will be presented to the school board on Wednesday.

Years three and four have not been budgeted, but year three is the lowest proposed increase, Donovan said, and year four is still expected to meet the standard 56 to 57 percent of the overall budget that has been standard.

Nashua Teachers’ Union President Adam Marcoux said the NTU voted 567 to 52 to approve the contract and unanimously, minus one vote, the teachers also voted to return to committee work.

After more than 100 hours of negotiating, Marcoux said he is looking forward to moving the contract forward to the Board of Aldermen for approval.

Hannah LaClaire can be reached at 594-1243 or hlaclaire@nashuatelegraph.com