Teachers, other staff get new agreements
Several employee unions representing a majority of South Washington County Schools teachers and staff will see small pay increases under terms of their new contracts.
Teachers and other workers generally will receive annual salary hikes of less than 2 percent, following recent School Board and union approval of the agreements.
Most of the contracts cover the two-year period from July 2011 to June 2013. District officials said the added cost fits within the district's budget.
The contract for the roughly 1,250-member teachers union includes annual salary increases as well as other pay incentives. Teachers will receive a 0.6 percent pay increase in the contract's first year, followed by a 1.23 percent bump in the second year, said Denise Griffith, the district's human resources director. Additionally, beginning in the contract's second year, some teachers could benefit from a change in how longevity pay, known as career and step increments, is calculated. The district is reducing its contributions toward teachers' single and family health insurance plans, but it is not expected to result in increased costs for the employees, according to the district.
An agreement with the district's 170 bus drivers and bus assistants includes 22-cent and 18-cent wage increases for drivers over the two-year contract.
Paraprofessionals, or teaching assistants, agreed to a one-year contract that includes a .17-cent hourly wage increase. The district and union will return to the bargaining table in June to work on a new two-year contract.
The district's principals agreed to a two-year package that includes a 1.65 percent salary increase beginning this month, and a 1.5 percent salary hike starting in July.
Contracts covering administrative supervisors and other independent non-bargaining workers also included modest pay increases.
School Board members were unanimous in supporting the new agreements Dec. 15. (Board member Jim Gelbmann abstained from voting on the teachers union contract because his wife is a teacher.)
This year the district negotiates new contracts for bus mechanics, food staff, office support staff, paraprofessionals and maintenance employees.