CHATHAM, NJ - The Chatham Board of Education voted, 7-0, to ratify a new three-year contract agreement with the Chatham Education Association (CEA) on Monday night during the regular BOE meeting.

The CEA represents Chatham teachers, secretaries, paraprofessionals and building and district technology. The new salary guide agreement calls for a 2.05 percent salary increase the first year, 1.91 percent the second year and 1.91 percent in the third year.

Board member Michelle Clark and board president Jill Critchley Weber left the room during the introduction of the agreement and both abstained from the vote. Clark is an educator in Millburn and Weber's husband is also in the education field. Voting to ratify the agreement were Richard Connors, Ann Ciccarelli, Matthew Gilfillan, Kim Cronin, Phil FranzSal Arnuk and Lata Kenney.

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Richard Connors, board member, introduces the new three-year agreement with the teachers' union and puts it before the board for approval

Superintendent Dr. Michael LaSusa explained that there were changes to the health benefits portion of the contract. Health care costs to the district went up 15 percent this year.

"The most expensive health plans will no longer be offered," LaSusa said. "We are adding two lower-priced health plans, including a high-deductible plan. It should be a win-win. We are reducing the incentive (by half) to waive health insurance altogether. Those are the principal changes."

The new contract begins July 1, 2016 and runs through June 30, 2019.