CHATHAM, NJ - The Chatham Board of Education ratified a memorandum of agreement with the Chatham Education Association on Monday night at its regular meeting. The agreement calls for a 3.2 percent average yearly salary increase for Chatham teachers over the course of the four-year contract.

In addition to the teachers, the CEA represents secretaries, paraprofessionals, district technology, custodians and maintenance. The agreement is retroactive to July 1, 2019, and runs through June 30, 2023.

"Through significant work by the administration, significant work by the teachers in terms of evaluating existing health care plans, working inside those health care plans to help us save money, we were able to come to an agreement that stays within the principles of our two percent tax levy increase," Matthew Gilfillan, board finance chairman, said. "This (ratification) will pass our memorandum agreement that will deliver over the next four years an average salary increase of 3.2 percent."

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 Chatham BOE Finance Chair Matthew Gilfillan talks about the 4-year contract with the teachers that he described as a "fair agreement"

The memorandum passed 5-0 with one abstention. Board member Michelle Clark did not participate in the deliberations or the vote because she is a member of the teachers' association as a professional in another district. Board members Sal Arnuk and Michael Valenti were absent.

The contract agreement is pending approval by a vote of the CEA.

In other business, Gilfillan announced that there will be a survey sent out to taxpayers to determine preferences for proposed capital improvements. That survey will help determine which projects are included in a referendum that will be voted on by the public in 2020.

"We will go out to the public again, just like we did last time, and ask for their input and see where their level of support is for the referendum," Gilfillan said. "We are always very adamant in making sure we know what the exact dollar number is going to be for you if you go ahead and ratify the referendum."

Gilfillan said that the finance committee discussed the proposed redevelopments in both Chatham Borough and Chatham Township and the capital improvements it will seek in the upcoming year during his finance report (see the video below).