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Utica teachers’ union approves four-year contract

Mike Jaquays
Staff writer
Posted 3/4/23

Mutual respect in creating a new contract ultimately benefits all Utica City School District students, Utica Teachers’ Association President Scott Rogowski has said.

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Utica teachers’ union approves four-year contract


UTICA — Mutual respect in creating a new contract ultimately benefits all Utica City School District students, Utica Teachers’ Association President Scott Rogowski told the district Board of Education and their audience Tuesday.

Rogowski came to the regular monthly meeting of the board with some good news.

“The Utica Teachers’ Association is proud to announce that on Feb. 14 our membership voted to ratify the tentative contract between the UTA and the Utica City school district,” Rogowski said. “Of our membership, 96% of the members cast a ballot. Of the ballots cast, a staggering 96% were a ‘yes’ vote for ratification.”

The four-year contract is retroactive dating back to the 2021-2022 school year and continuing forward to the 2024-2025 school year. It includes a 2% raise in both the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 years and 3% in 2023-2024 and 2024-2025. There is also a $5,000 stipend for all teachers for both the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 years, Acting Superintendent Brian Nolan said.

Having a mutually beneficial contract will not only encourage current faculty members to stay with the district but also make an attractive offer to others who might be looking for a teaching position, Rogowski explained.

“This contract will assist with staff retention while enabling the district to attract the brightest talent our region has to offer,” he said. “When we retain staff and attract high quality new educators, we are setting our kids up for success.”

The members of the board of education cast their own votes, unanimously approving that contract later in the meeting.

Rogowski thanked the community, the superintendent and the two negotiation teams for their hard work in achieving the contract agreement.

“When administration, staff and community show mutual respect and support for each other we are able to do the absolute best work for every student,” Rogowski said.

“I want to extend my congratulations to the Utica Teachers’ Association negotiating team,” Nolan said. “We spent a couple of long nights together and I think we had a really mutual understanding of where we needed to get to benefit the students and the families here in Utica. I think that’s why we were able to get that kind of support from our membership.”

He also thanked the negotiating team for their hard work.

Nolan noted the Service Employees International Union also voted to offer their “resounding approval” of a proposed 35-hour workweek and some health insurance. They are working through the various departments now to transition to the longer workweek.

“We really believe that it not only benefits our employees but it’s going to be a tremendous benefit to the students and the families in the schools that they work in. I do want to commend the SEIU leadership for kind of understanding where we needed to move and they moved their folks that way. I think it’s going to be a good benefit for all of us and I’m very happy that we did that.”

New head table introduced

Board President Joseph Hobika Jr., who was video conferencing in with the group from Florida, asked Nolan to introduce the new configuration of personnel seated at the head table. They included Chief Academic Officer Steven Falchi, Chief Human Resource Officer Sara Klimek, Chief Operations Officer Mike Farraro, Director of Student Services Trina Falchi, Administrator for Special Education Pamela Smoulcey and Director for Testing and Planning Shawna Fleck.

Next meeting

Although the January and February regular monthly board meetings were moved to the board’s old meeting location at the district administration building, the next meeting is Tuesday, March 28 in the auditorium of Kernan Elementary School, 929 York St. It is expected to start with an executive session at 5 p.m. followed by public comment at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting at 7 p.m.

The public is welcome to attend all but the executive session.


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