The Shoreham-Wading River school board and the district’s teachers union reached an agreement in June that will result in a $1.5 million savings through a combination of decreases in steps and a hard freeze, Superintendent Steven Cohen said in an interview last week.
A step is an incremental increase in salary based on individual professional experience, according to the state Department of Education.
Mr. Cohen said in an email this week that if a settlement hadn’t been reached by the previous contract’s June 30 expiration, the district would have had to pay “$1.5 million more than the renewed contract calls for.”
In the 2013-14 school year, the first year of the new four-year contract, all step increases will be reduced to 2.5 percent, he said. If there had been no new agreement, the average step increase would have been 2.8 percent, Mr. Cohen added.
During the next school year (2014-15), teacher salaries will be held flat, with no step increases or annual raises, a contract provision known as a hard freeze. The third year will include a 2.25 percent increase in steps. During the final year of the contract teachers will move up on the step scale, Mr. Cohen said.