Teachers in East Allen County Schools can add about $2,800 to their base salary this academic year under terms in a collective bargaining agreement the school board unanimously approved Tuesday.
The East Allen Educators Association ratified the contract Monday.
Nearly 600 teachers are covered by the agreement, which runs from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2019.
In presenting the contract to the board, Kirby Stahly, chief financial officer, described negotiations as nonconfrontational.
Union President Mark Nash agreed. Teachers are satisfied with the agreement, which was reached without mediation, he said.
“I don't think many people know the amount of time that goes into bargaining – not just the meetings between both sides, but the time and effort that goes into organizing all the information that we are given, and putting together a proposal,” he said, addressing the seven-member board during public comment.
“In talking with our team, it was good to hear that the atmosphere was much more of a collaborative one.”
The contract does not provide overall salary increases. Rather, its compensation model allows teachers to earn a maximum seven points.
In 2017-18, each point is worth about $400 for a total of about $1.4 million that may be awarded. Next year, a total of $750,000 may be awarded. The pool is based on new revenue received, Stahly said.
Teachers not rated “ineffective” or “needs improvement” will get five points. Educators may also get one point each for earning a year of experience and for meeting academic needs, such as earning a master's degree.
Those at the maximum salary – $70,000 – will receive the money as a stipend, Stahly said. Otherwise, he said, it will be added to their base salary. Those deemed “ineffective” or “improvement necessary” will be ineligible for the compensation.
In other news, Tobacco Free Allen County honored the district with the Smoke Free Schools Policy Leadership Award in recognition of EACS including the prohibition of e-cigarettes in its policy. Representatives with the organization said EACS was the first Allen County school district to do so.