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Published: Friday, 4/27/2001

Board ups pay of Washington Local teachers

Teachers in Washington Local schools will receive 10 percent raises over the next three years under a contract approved unanimously last night by the board of education.

The contract replaces a one-year pact that expires June 30. It provides raises of 4 percent the first year and 3 percent each of the next two years.

Teachers, guidance counselors, deans, and school psychologists, who belong to the Teacher Association of Washington Local Schools, ratified the agreement Wednesday, said Paul Johnson, association president.

Superintendent Michael Carmean said negotiations with the 486-member union began in February. A tentative agreement was reached March 22.

“Everybody is content and happy. It was fair and equitable. It is what we can afford right now based on the money we have,” Mr. Carmean said.

The 4 percent raise in the base pay will put the starting pay for a teacher with a bachelor's degree and no experience at $26,130.

Mr. Carmean said the district is hiring at the next level, where the salary will go to $29,266, which they receive their first two years.

Health care benefits will remain the same for teachers. However, the health care plan could be re-opened next year for negotiations if costs fluctuate.

Mr. Carmean said the $20,000 available to all teachers for education reimbursements will increase $2,500 each year of the contract.

Teachers can receive a maximum of $750 a year for college tuition.

Teachers who have paid into the state retirement system for 30 years or are 55 years old with 25 years of service will be offered a one-time $12,000 retirement incentive. About 40 are eligible.

Mr. Johnson said members approved the contract 244-32. He said some members were concerned about the possibility of changes in health care coverage.

Mr. Carmean said negotiations with the district's 320 noncertified employees represented by the Ohio Association of Public School Employees will begin in two weeks.

The contract, which covers bus drivers, custodians, food service workers, and classroom aides, expires June 30.

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