October 2011 Issue
September 21, 2011

After long fight, BOCES local gains contract

Author: Bernie Mulligan
Source: NYSUT United

Ending a more than five-year contract fight, members of the Orleans-Niagara BOCES Teachers Association voted 205-3 to accept a deal that will run through June 2013.

"Our membership was amazing throughout this process," said Kristin Sterling, local president and a member of NYSUT's Board of Directors. "Whatever actions our crisis team planned, our members came through. This struggle has brought our membership together and we look forward to moving ahead."

The salary increases average 3.5 percent a year, and the members received their retroactive pay in late August.

They have increased their share of health insurance costs, now paying 7 percent of premiums, and higher co-pay limits and higher prescription costs.

Sterling praised the local's bargaining team for its patience and endurance. "Our team endured long hours and excessive frustration and stress due to the extremely recalcitrant BOCES negotiators," she said. "We went through mediation, fact finding, super-conciliation and more, to settle this contract. But, for the first time since 2006, we will return to work without any actions."

Bernie Mulligan recently retired from the NYSUT United staff.