LISBON — The head of the Lisbon School Committee said Monday evening that the cost-of-living adjustment given by the teachers’ union president at a previous meeting was incorrect.

Contract negotiations are going to fact-finding after the two sides have failed to reach an agreement through negotiations and mediation. Teachers have been working without a contract for over 220 days.

Committee Chairwoman Margaret Galligan-Schmoll disputed the 1% cost-of-living adjustments in 2020 and again in 2021 shared by Lisbon Education Association President Rick Beaule at the March 28 meeting.

Teachers receive a longevity increase every three years, Galligan-Schmoll said. From 2020 to 2022 teachers received between 2.2% and 11.16%, depending on the number of years worked. Base salary increases amounted to 3% in 2022, 4% in 2021 and 1.75% in 2020. Total increases were a combined 10.95% to 19.91% from 2020 to 2022.

Galligan-Schmoll said the committee will continue to bargain in good faith, but felt obligated to clarify salary figures as negotiations with the association and findings of fact are ongoing.

“The Lisbon School Committee values our employees and has worked hard over the last few years to not only compensate them, but the School Committee has added several additional employees in an effort to address classroom sizes and provide students, families and staff with the supports they need to address the instructional and social and emotional challenges that we are currently facing,” Superintendent Richard Green said in an email March 31.


Galligan-Schmoll echoed those sentiments during the Monday’s meeting, and she and Green both pointed out a clerical error in 2020 led to a 1% increase the committee elected to honor, even though it had already committed an additional 1% for employees’ dedication to students during the pandemic.

Beaule said in an email Monday night that the committee fails to emphasize that the longevity increases are in three-year increments. There are no increases beyond the much smaller cost-of-living adjustments in the two years between steps, he said.

“They also don’t mention (longevity increases) drop precipitously after the Step 15 ‘bump,’” he said.

Longevity increases at their highest of 11.16% at the three-year step. Employees during their six-year step get a 9.83% increase; nine-year step, 8.76%; 12-year step, 7.87%; and 15-year step, 7.14%.

The changes decrease rapidly starting with the 18-year step, Beaule said. From the 18-year step to the 36-year step, increases fall from 2.53% to 2.2%. So, a teacher having served for 16 years stands to earn 0.84% in longevity every year and less every step ahead of them, Beaule said.

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