The new school year began with a new three-year contract for Island teachers and support staff.

Bargaining concluded last month when both sides agreed on a two per cent increase in salaries across the board for the first year of the contract. In the second and third year, raises vary according to bargaining unit.

The new contract runs from Sept. 1, 2019 through August 31, 2022.

There are five bargaining units represented by the Martha’s Vineyard Educators Association: teachers, educational support personnel (ESPs), administrative support personnel (ASPs), custodians and food service workers. The contracts cover about 500 employees in the public schools.

New contracts are typically negotiated every three years. Contract talks began last fall.

Under the new contract, all staff will see a two per cent raise in the first year, superintendent of schools Dr. Matthew D’Andrea. School business administrator Amy Tierney estimated based on August staffing levels that the changes would cost $874,227.95 the first year.

All bargaining units were also given increased bereavement leave.

Other changes included the definitions of professional development days, aligning family leave policies to reflect federal law and updating language about reduction in force, Mr. D’Andrea said.

Administrators also agreed to the establishment of a health and wellness committee for school staff. The committee will be charged with managing complaints about the conditions of buildings related to health and welfare.

Mr. D’Andrea said the negotiations are time intensive, but he called them an opportunity to reflect.

“I think it’s a good exercise to go through because both sides can share some of the challenges we’re having around money, around jobs, job performance and meeting the needs of students,” the superintendent said.

A union representative did not respond to a request for an interview.