Garfield teachers ratify agreement

By Kristie Cattafi, Staff Writer, Community News (Garfield Edition)
Garfield teachers ratified a two-year agreement with 2-percent raises for each year that was approved at the Sept. 28 board of education meeting.

In order to settle at these percentages the teachers’ union needed to restructure the previous salary guide, according to Garfield Federation of Teachers President Rob Barbier, a high school English teacher.

The expired salary guide contained higher increases, but was rejected by a state-appointed monitor in May, which led the union to declare an impasse.

“The first restructuring of our salary guide in more than 10 years was the major area of concern from members, some of whom expected salary increases from the old guide that no longer exists,” said Barbier. “The new guide should eliminate members being frozen on a step. The contract also includes an increase in the stipends paid to coaches and advisors.”

Barbier blamed the state for short-funding the district, which added hundreds of new students and more than a hundred new teachers and staff positions without an increase in funding since 2012.