HAMMONTON — The school board and teachers’ union have approved a one-year extension to their contract.

Board President Sam Mento said both sides agreed in late June to a one-year plan due to the uncertainty of future state aid. The current contract expired July 1.

“With the funding up in the air, we weren’t sure what would happen,” Mento said.

Under the FY18 state budget approved July 3, Hammonton is scheduled to get about $875,000 in additional state aid for 2017-18. The district is among the lowest-spending K-12 districts in the state.

Under the one-year agreement, union members will get an average 2.7 percent raise, up from 2.4 percent in the old contract. Mento said they basically added $100 to each step on the guide.

Board members on the negotiating team were Manuel Bermudez, Raymond Scipione and Waterford board representative Terri Chiddenton.

Hammonton Education Association President Judy Shaner said union members agreed to the one-year contract so that staff would have a contract in place for the year and would have time to plan for changes in state aid.

The median teacher salary in Hammonton in 2016-17 was $63,127, according to state Department of Education Taxpayer Guide to Education Spending.

“We really don’t know what the future will hold with a new governor coming in and with state aid,” Shaner said. “We also have a new superintendent, and we didn’t want to go a whole year without a contract.”

Assistant Superintendent Robin Chieco is the new superintendent, succeeding C. Dan Blachford, who retired.


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