Riverhead School District

Riverhead Schools inks new deals with unions

Carney of Riverhead
Superintendent Nancy Carney and board president Anne Cotten-DeGrasse. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson file)

The Riverhead School District has reached new deals with its teachers and administrators unions, respectively, for retirement payouts and salaries. 

Both agreements passed unanimously during the school board’s May 27 meeting.

Board president Ann Cotten-DeGrasse said before the vote that the agreements — technically a new contract for administrators and an amendment to the current teachers contract — should provide the district with long-term savings. However, administrators said they weren’t able to provide a dollar amount for the expected savings.

The Riverhead Central Faculty Association, the bargaining unit representing the district’s teachers, has agreed that compensation for a portion of members’ unused sick time will be transferred into a dedicated account, known as a 403(b). Employees will not be taxed on those amounts if they wait until after retirement to access the funds. Previously, the district would issue a check or cash for those post-retirement benefits, for which both employees and the district were taxed, Ms. Cotten-DeGrasse said after the meeting.

The school district’s new agreement with the Riverhead Administrators Association is a five-year deal that expires June 30, 2019.

Next school year, administrators will receive a step increase and a 1 percent salary increase, according to the contract.

For each subsequent year of the contract, administrators will forgo step increases, but will receive 2 percent salary increases, according to the agreement.

In addition, administrators will be required to sign up for direct deposit. Affected employees will also receive “an additional $500 into their personal 403(b) accounts beginning in the 2014-15 school year,” the agreement states.

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Editor’s note: A story that appeared in Thursday’s issue of the Riverhead News-Review incorrectly stated the teachers’ 403(b) agreement was also for unused vacation time. The deal is only for a portion of unused sick time.