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Ithaca Teachers Vote For Better Pay, Health Insurance In New Contract

ITHACA, NY (WSKG) - Teachers in the Ithaca City School District have voted for a six-year contract. The contract covers the next five years and was ratified in an almost unanimous vote.

The contract affects every certified and licensed teacher in the district. The Ithaca Teachers' Association represents over 600 educators in the district.

Union President Adam Piasecki said the new contract increases teacher pay but will not close the gap between Ithaca teachers and the compensation paid their counterparts in other Southern Tier districts.

"Is this going to close the gap in one term of six years? Probably not," he said. "We know that there are places where the base salary this year is where we will be in six years."

He hopes the pay raise will persuade more teachers stay in the district. Piasecki said over several years Ithaca has lost teachers to nearby districts which offer better compensation packages.  They include Trumansburg, Lansing, and Candor.

He said the starting salary for Ithaca teachers is now $42,494. By 2015. Piasecki said all salaries will have increased by about 25 per cent.

The new agreement will also provide a basic vision care plan. Until now, teachers paid all eye care expenses out of pocket.

Piasecki said the agreement also improves dental coverage slightly and offers the opportunity to buy into other dental care options.

School district representatives did not respond to WSKG requests for information before our deadline.