Contract negotiations between the Association of Calhoun Educators (ACE) and the Calhoun County School Board (CCSB) continued on February 23rd.
During this 5 ½ hour session, the parties exchanged proposals to establish the first collective bargaining agreement for Calhoun teachers. While a large majority of agreements have been reached, including teacher rights, working conditions, benefits, and fair discipline, the parties came to agreement on a major issue which the Board team hadn’t responded to until this session – salary increases.
The tentative agreement for teacher salary increases for the 2016-2017 school year includes several components. For teachers who are paid under the state-mandated performance pay system, teachers rated “Effective” for the previous year’s (2015-16) evaluation will receive a $1,000 pay increase and for those rated “Highly Effective,” an increase of $1,223. Teachers who are paid under the grandfathered pay system will receive a $1,000 increase. The entry level salary will increase by $332, which will be paid to newly-hired teachers who weren’t evaluated in CCSB last year. Overall, this represents a total of $196,000 in new money toward recurring teacher pay and, if approved, will be retroactive to the beginning of the school year.
ACE President Russell Baggett remarked after the session, “Our increase is one of the highest in the region this year and we believe it is a direct result of forming our association and working with the School Board. With these raises, teachers will be rewarded for their dedication and the District will be better equipped to recruit and retain quality teachers.”
With salaries increases now off the table in Calhoun, the Association and Board teams will meet in the coming weeks to address the remaining issues in order to complete the negotiations process. Once agreements have been reached on all items, each party will take the full tentative agreement to their respective constituents – the teachers and the School Board members – who will vote to approve the agreement as a whole. Following the ratification vote, salary increases will be distributed to teachers.