Port Jefferson teachers have agreed to a two-year contract that calls for a wage freeze this school year, saving the district $300,000 annually, officials said Wednesday.
The contract covers 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, when teachers will forgo all raises. Last year, teachers received only the step increases built into the salary schedules of those eligible for the raises. The new agreement replaces one that expired on June 30, 2011.
The district faces an uncertain economic future because of the reassessment of the Long Island Power Authority plant located in Port Jefferson, which could reduce the district's revenue by millions. School officials don't know when the matter will be decided.
"We do not have a timetable for having a definitive answer for that question," Superintendent Ken Bossert said. "We are finding creative ways to do more with less, looking for everyone to understand the culture of shared sacrifice."
Brian Snow, head of the local teachers union, said that while all districts are struggling with the new, state-imposed tax cap, Port Jefferson's finances are even more complicated.
"We are well aware of the unique situation Port Jefferson is in, so we are willing to do our part along with the community to preserve our standing," he said.
The district has 120 full-time teachers and 1,300 students. All three of its schools -- elementary, middle and high school -- were singled out as high-achieving "reward schools" in the state Education Department's new ranking system.