“A lot of it really helps start to give more control of the profession back to the educators, and starts to set the stage for our educators to have more autonomy and voice in their own profession,” Christy said in an interview Monday.
Under the contract, teachers will get a 6 percent cost-of-living increase during the first fiscal year, which began July 1. It will be followed by a 4 percent increase the following year, and an additional 3 percent increase during the third fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2024.
Teachers who have a National Board Certification — a voluntary, advanced teaching certification — receive an additional boost of $13,000 in salary pay, Christy said. Teachers with the certification in a low-performing school will receive an extra $9,000 on top of that — totaling a $22,000 increase in pay.
The contract also includes a $100 stipend for teachers to buy schools supplies, and provides additional protections around planning time. Teachers at elementary schools, early childhood centers and special-education centers obtained a minimum of 240 minutes of time each week — roughly 15 more minutes than they had before. Teachers at middle and high schools have a minimum of 45 minutes of planning time each school day, and for two days each week, their planning time must be a full class period.
Administrators also can’t cut into teacher’s allotted personal planning time by scheduling “collaborative planning” during those periods, when educators across a department meet. Christy explained that many union members had run into problems with their personal planning time being used instead for collaborative planning.
Last week’s school board vote solidifies the tentative agreement reached last month. The new contract is retroactive to July 1 and ends June 30, 2025.
The union made over 100 proposals during the contract negotiation process. It reached an agreement with the school system on about 80 of those proposals, Christy said.
The school system did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The district ratified its contracts with four other employee unions representing administrators, principals, facility service employees and education support professionals in June.