Details revealed of REA and RPS tentative agreement

(ABC 6 News) – Rochester Educators Association has announced the exact terms of their agreement with Rochester Public Schools.

Under the proposed contract, Rochester teachers will will see compensation increased by 6% for the 2023-2024 school years and 1.05% for the 2024-2025 school year.

The new contract also included increased RPS contributions to health insurance premiums and a limit to elementary class sizes.

Under the contract, kindergarten classes would be capped at 20 students, first grade capped at 24, second at 26, third at 28, fourth and fifth capped at 30 students.

According to REA, health insurance premium contributions have failed to offset rising costs.

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Tentative agreement reached between RPS and REA

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(ABC 6 News) – In Rochester, negotiations between the school district and teacher’s union lead to a tentative agreement.

The two groups met at Harriet Bishop Elementary, with teachers winning a pay increase, improved health care costs and smaller class sizes under a new contract.

“What it’s going to mean, is that there are limits that the elementary class sizes will be set at; and if the class size goes over that, there will be additional compensation for those teachers to reflect that additional work,” RPS superintendent Dr. Kent Pekel said.

The REA asked for an extra $3000 a year per additional student over that class limit to the teacher, on a per diem basis.

— RELATED: REA teachers end work day at contracted time amidst negotiations with RPS

Both sides first came to the table last July.

RPS previously said their last offer was the best that could be made, given the district’s current financial situation.

“Teacher salaries have not kept up with the cost of living in the past 10 to 15 years,” said president of Rochester Education Association Vince Wagner. “So, hopefully we can get a settlement that will catch us up here in Rochester.”

While teachers in RPS are expected to see a pay increase, the district wanted to express their gratitude and compensate their teachers accordingly.

“We know we wanted to do as much as we could for them on salary, but we also needed to address our healthcare issues and so cumulatively, we’re going to be at a 15.44% increase or so,” Pekel said.

The proposed contract will go in front of the school board on March 19, where board members will vote on these new conditions.