The salary for a teacher with 26 years of experience would be a little more than $80,000 under the proposal. The current top step on the salary schedule is $69,568.
The starting salary in Cambridge is $44,470 and the top salary at step 30 is $88,989. In Salem, the starting salary is about $43,000 and the top step salary in year 24 is about $86,000, according to the current contracts available on SeeThroughNY.net.
Hartford and Argyle are between the $80,000 and $90,000 range for the top steps, according to a fact sheet provided by the union.
Davidson pointed out in the news release that, during the last two years, the budget built in raises for teachers, but they were not paid out because of the lapsed contract. So, there is extra money.
By law, districts are not allowed to have more than 4% of their budget in reserve. Davidson said the district is keeping about 23% in reserve. That figure could not be confirmed by the district.
Insurance changes sought
Davidson said the district wants teachers to switch to a high-deductible plan, requiring participants to pay out-of-pocket for certain expenses before hitting a threshold when insurance kicks in.
As of July 1, 2015, teachers have only two options for health insurance. They can choose an alternate PPO plan and have the district pick up 89% of the cost for an individual plan or 86% for a family plan, according to the current contract.