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Fredonia OKs new pact with teachers

OBSERVER Photo by Braden Carmen Fredonia Board of Education President Brian Aldrich, left, and Superintendent Brad Zilliox, right, both gave thanks to those involved in the negotiations between the district and the Fredonia Teachers Association.

The back-and-forth contract negotiations between the Fredonia Central School District and the Fredonia Teachers Association finally reached the finish line at the most recent Board of Education meeting.

The Fredonia Central School District and the Fredonia Teachers Association (FTA) came to an agreement on a contract after a long negotiation process that culminated in approval from the Board of Education. The agreement is set to run through June 30, 2025, with no other details revealed during the meeting.

According to seethroughny.net, the 2020 contract included salary increases of 3.1 percent in the final year of the deal. Median teacher pay also was $80,286 in the district.

“The contract negotiations between the district and the FTA absolutely continued to be positive, productive and respectful,” said Fredonia Superintendent Brad Zilliox. “I appreciated the spirit in which we were able to negotiate and come to an agreement.”

FTA President Michelle Greenough spoke at the last Board of Education meeting about the negotiations, with many members of the FTA in attendance to show their support. Both sides were hopeful at the time of the last meeting that the contract would be finished by the next meeting, which turned out to be the case.

“It has been a long process,” said Fredonia Board of Education President Brian Aldrich, who thanked Zilliox and Business Administrator John Forbes for the work they did to represent the district in the negotiations.

“I’m happy to be at a point where we have a contract for approval,” said Zilliox, who thanked Greenough and FTA Vice President Amy Lauer.

Also at the recent meeting, the Board of Education approved an agreement between the district and Prevention Works for drug prevention and education programs for grades 2-4. The district has worked with Prevention Works in the past. “We’ve had an arrangement with Prevention Works over the course of many years. They do a really nice job,” said Zilliox. “I think it has an impact on our students. … I look forward to continuing this relationship.”

Fredonia will also be utilizing a new “Say Something Anonymous Reporting System” through the Sandy Hook Promise non-profit organization. The system will provide support from a response team that is trained in handling reports of suspicious or nefarious activity. The district is targeting mid-October for the system to be fully implemented. More information can be found on the district website. “This is just another layer of us really thinking about safety,” said Zilliox.

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