School district trustees on teacher contract | SierraSun.com

School district trustees on teacher contract

Submitted by Kristy Olk

The TTUSD Board of Trustees is pleased to announce an agreement with Tahoe Truckee Education Association, the union representing our certificated teaching staff. The Board’s overarching goal during negotiations was to advance two of our strategic goals:-

– Retaining and recruiting quality staff, and

– Closing the achievement gap for our students

-Following is a recap of that agreement.

Board goal: retaining quality staff

Increase in Wages

The agreement gives our certificated staff a 7.5 percent wage increase, retroactive to July 1, 2006. It also gives a 2 percent increase, effective July 1, 2007, as a beginning point for next year’s negotiations. As the board has publicly stated, we are committed to increasing teachers’ wages over the next three years to be at or above the average for all unified school districts statewide ” funds permitting, and balancing the other top priorities of the district. Over the past two years, certificated staff have received a 14.5 percent wage increase, bringing their salary range to $40,084 to $79,093.

This increase does not include the step- and column-increases that many teachers are also eligible to receive. For each of the past two years, approximately 50 percent of our teachers received a 4 percent increase in step (years of service) and/or column (15 units of additional college courses).

Consequently, this agreement will result in all teachers receiving a 14.5 percent increase over two years and approximately 50 percent receiving between an 18.5 percent and 22.5 percent increase. We are committed to increasing salaries, as basic aid funding increases, to address both the high cost of living and the invaluable contribution our teachers are making to students.

Board goal: retaining quality staff and improving student achievement

Increase in compensation for additional duties

It has been 10 years since the board has adjusted teachers’ pay for duties outside their normal workday. In addition to the 7.5 percent wage increase, the agreement also increases the hourly rate for additional duties.

– Summer school ” increase from $25 to $40 per hour

– Extra duty for academics ” increase from $20 to $40 per hour

– Extra duty supervision for non-academics ” increase from $15 to $25 per hour

– Compensation for moving classrooms or school sites ” increase from two days at $75 per day to $115 per day.

Although the board agreed to increase all categories, the two that directly impact student achievement ” summer school and extra duty for academics ” received a significantly larger increase. Students who are struggling must have additional learning opportunities. Before and after school programs and summer school help to make those opportunities available.

Board goal: recruiting quality staff

Initial placement for entering employees

Prior to this agreement, a-teacher entering our district received up to five years credit for previous experience. The agreement increases that credit from five to eight years. As a large number of our teachers approach retirement, this increase will help in our recruitment efforts by appealing to more experienced teachers who may be better prepared financially to afford our region’s high cost of living. A teacher with eight years experience will enter our district at a wage between $49,402 and $57,792, depending on education level.

Board goal: Closing the achievement gap of students

Working the full contracted number of days

Certificated employees are paid for 182 days plus 19.5 documented buy-back hours. At times, teachers have been released early when students were not required to make up snow days. The board has requested that teachers work their full 182 contracted days, whether or not children make up all the snow days, with the intent the time be used for professional development and collaboration. We will continue to work with our instructional staff to collaboratively find other ways to increase student achievement, which is the primary goal of every person within the district.

This contract will stay in effect until June 30, 2008. The district and TTEA will meet again in October to negotiate salary, benefits and an early retirement incentive. Additionally, the parties will be entitled to open one article of the contract each for discussion. Waiting until October to begin next year’s negotiations will allow us to have a clearer understanding of our financial resources, while still committing now to begin next year’s negotiations with a guaranteed 2 percent raise on July 1, 2007. This demonstrates our commitment to a multi-year approach in raising teacher’s salaries. –

We look forward to putting this year’s difficult negotiation process behind us and changing the process in future years to be more collaborative, transparent and based on a shared understanding of our goals and financial status. This will mean an increase in our communication with staff, parents, students and the community. The new TTUSD Board of Trustees is committed to making this happen.