Board to vote on teacher pay raises

July 28, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

The Washington County Teachers Association, which represents 1,500 employees, has ratified an addendum to its contract with the Washington County Board of Education, Association President Claude Sasse said Tuesday.

The changes, which include a pay raise, will not be effective until the Washington County Board of Education votes on the adoption of the addendum.

That vote is scheduled to occur at its Aug. 3 meeting, Board President Edward Forrest said.

Forrest said he would be surprised if the board did not vote to approve the addendum.

The amended contract, which improves the school system's dental coverage and pay levels for teachers, is effective from July 1, 2004, to July 1, 2005, Sasse said.


Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said the pay raise is an average of 3 percent, with some employees getting more and others getting less.

The contract changes are the second year of a three-year plan to increase the pay of teachers with different experience levels, Morgan said. Last year the Board of Education voted to increase the starting salary of teachers to $35,000, an increase of $2,635 from the previous year.

The focus this year was on increasing the pay of mid-level teachers, who received more than the 3 percent average, Morgan said.

Next year the push will be to increase the pay of teachers with more than 25 years of experience in the school system, she said.

"This kind of marks a turning point in our compensation for teachers," Morgan said. "They are the backbone of the school system."

Sasse would not say how many teachers voted for the addendum, saying instead that 80 percent of the voters indicated support for the addendum.

The votes were counted Monday, Sasse said. The deadline to mail in the votes was July 21, he said.

The ratification comes after the start of the fiscal year, which began July 1, but the Board of Education honors the present contract until the addendum is adopted, Sasse said.

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