South Bend school board approves new teacher contract
After months of negotiations, teachers in the South Bend Community School Corporation finally have a new contract.
A new agreement was supposed to be in place by Nov. 15, but talks stalled as NEA-South Bend, the local teacher's union, held out for larger teacher raises.
The two parties reached a tentative agreement after state mediation last week. The union ratified that agreement Monday, and the school board approved it at a special meeting Friday morning.
Over the next two years, the school corporation will direct $5.92 million to teacher raises and $1.66 million to one-time stipends. Teachers’ starting salaries will also rise from $40,000 to $43,000 by the 2022-23 school year.
The new contract provides the largest raises to teachers with 10 to 23 years of experience, whose salaries officials say haven't recovered from Recession-era pay cuts.
Raises in the first year of the contract break down on the following scale:
In the second year, teachers with one to three years of experience will get $1,620 raises, and teachers with four or more years of experience will get $2,370 raises.
On average, teachers will receive a 5.9 percent raise in the first year and a 4.1 percent raise in the second year of the contract.
The contract also provides one-time stipends of $775 for teachers with one to six years of experience and $1,700 for teachers with seven or more years.
In terms of benefits, the contract establishes a new health savings account plan with a $1,000 contribution from the school corporation.
The school corporation will also cover half the cost of premium increases in the 2022 plan year, and will consider reopening negotiations if premiums increase in 2023.
The contract also includes continued stipends for teachers with high performance ratings and who receive National Board Certification, and $70-an-hour compensation for teachers who provided extended learning during the 2021-22 school year.
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