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School board, teachers ratify new two-year contract

The United Teachers of South Washington County ratified a new two-year contract on Wednesday, Nov. 18, and School Board members approved it on Thursday Nov. 19 during the regular meeting.

The agreement, effective from July of this year to July of 2011, is different from past contracts in that it doesn't specify a percentage salary increase. Instead, all teachers, regardless of the number of years of teaching in the district, get $1,025, Denise Griffith, director of human resources, said.

Credit for years of experience, or "steps," will be unfrozen the second year with a .05 percent salary increase.

The number of steps in contracts will decrease by one to 25 the first year and to 24 the following year.

The contract also includes a raise in extra-curricular pay and an increase in district contributions to single and family health insurance.

The district is only one of a few who have settled contracts across the state, according to Board Member Jim Gelbmann.

During budget discussions for next year, school board members, and then Superintendent Tom Nelson, hoped for a settlement of 1 percent or no salary increases.

Earlier this year, top district administrators, including Superintendent Mark Porter, agreed to freeze their salaries for the coming year.

For negotiations, that took place over 17 meetings, members Marsha Adou, Leslee Boyd and Tracy Brunnette represented the board.


The story contained incorrect information. The United Teachers of South Washington County ratified a new two-year contract on Thursday, Nov. 19. Under the contract, full-time teachers will get a $1,025 raise and part time teachers will get a pro-rated amount. Credit for years of experience will be unfrozen in the second year of the contract with a .5 percent salary increase.

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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