School board, teachers union ratify two year contract

Both the Minot Public School Board and the Minot Education Association have ratified a two-year contract.

The contract, negotiated over three meetings, will give teachers a 3.3 percent raise the first year and a 3.68 percent raise the second year.

There will be a $1,300 increase on the base salary for a beginning teacher during the first year of the contract, bringing the base salary to $43,888. There will be a $1,500 increase on the base salary for a beginning teacher during the second year of the contract, raising the base salary to $45,503.

The additional cost to the district of the contract will be $2.48 million the first year and $2.72 million the second year.

Lisa Wolf, one of the MEA negotiators, said a majority of the teachers union members voted to approve the contract earlier this week.

The school board unanimously ratified the contract on Friday at a special board meeting.

Laura Mihalick, one of the board negotiators, said she was extremely happy with how negotiations went this year and said she had always told teachers that “When we have money, you are the ones we want to spend it on.”

Last year negotiations ended in impasse and the school district imposed contracts on teachers. The school district was operating under a budget deficit last year, unlike this year, when more funds were available thanks to additional funding from the legislature.

Business manager Scott Moum, the lead negotiator, also gave thanks to the state for the education funding increase.

Negotiations are also ongoing with unions for school administrators and classified employees. Moum said he anticipates that those employees will negotiate salary increases with the same percentage increase as the teachers.

Even with the increases, Moum said he anticipates that the school district’s total mill levy should decrease by about two mills. Moum said property valuation increases seem to have leveled off.

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