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ITHACA, NY – The Ithaca Teachers Association is asking for better wages, benefits and professional opportunities as it prepares to renegotiate their labor agreement with the school district.

In a statement released by Adam Piasecki, president of the Ithaca Teachers Association on Tuesday, Piasecki suggests that the ITA and the school board are at a “crossroads.”

“In one direction is acrimony and divisiveness — a long fight that could tear away at the fabric of all that has been accomplished to create great schools. In the other direction is an agreement that reflects the district’s willingness to treat its teachers with fairness, dignity and respect…” the statement reads.

The ITA is asking for two things:

1 – Competitive wages. According to the statement, “Having equitable and competitive salaries and benefits are what help attract and retain top-quality educators… Teachers in Ithaca, on average, make less than teachers in 89% of other New York State small city school districts.”

2 – Quality health insurance. “Ithaca teachers currently pay among the highest employee contributions for health insurance in the state of NY and have done so for over 40 years,” the Piasecki claims.

He goes on to say that the school board has, “set parameters for an agreement that provides only minimal increases in salary, paid for, in part, by increased health insurance costs and a loss of professional opportunities.”

We were unable to contact representatives from the school district or the ITA late Wednesday evening. We will provide updates as we learn more.

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at msmith@ithacavoice.com, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.