CHESHIRE — Town Councilors supported a mediated contract with school principals at Tuesday night’s meeting that includes wage increases and benefit concessions.
Councilors voted eight to one in favor of the Cheshire Administrative Personnel contract. Republican councilor Tom Ruocco opposed it.
School Superintendent Jeff Solan said while wages rise $160,000 over the three years, that’s offset by $75,000 in savings due to changes in health benefits. Reducing the cost of those benefits was a goal of councilors, Solan said.
“I think it represents a real significant shift in benefits and a modest increase in salary,” he told the council Tuesday. “Net cost over the course of the three years of the contract is roughly $87,000.”
The union includes 18 principals and vice principals.
Under the contract, employee contributions for health savings accounts increase from 5 percent under the previous contract to 11 percent in the last year of the new contract. Annual insurance deductibles also rise.
General wage increases range between 1.03 and 1.86 percent. Step wage increases rise between 1.22 percent and 0.39 percent.
Earlier this month the Board of Education unanimously voted in favor of the contract.
Councilors had few questions for Solan about the contract. Sylvia Nichols, a Republican, said the council didn’t need to take action for the contract to go into effect but did need to vote if it wanted to reject the contract.
Council Chairman Rob Oris, a Republican, said even though there was no vote taken he wanted to do so anyway.
Ruocco didn’t give a reason for opposing the contract. He often finds himself the sole vote in opposition, citing wage increases or benefits he believes are too generous.