×

Tentative agreement on teachers contracts

Teachers would get a raise under tentative agreement

Andrea Johnson/MDN Minot Education Association negotiators Dean Winczewski, Lisa Wolf and Bill Irmen, seated across the table from Minot school board negotiators, board member Laura Mihalick, business manager Scott Moum, and board member Mark Lyman, faced off Tuesday. The two sides reached a tentative agreement that must still be approved by the MEA and the full school board.

Negotiators for the Minot Public School Board and the Minot Education Association arrived at a tentative agreement on teacher contracts that calls for a 3.3 percent raise the first year and a 3.68 percent increase the second year.

The end of negotiations – which came after just three meetings – was met with praise, hugs and loud applause from a room packed with teachers on Tuesday night.

The result was a big change from a year ago, when contract negotiations went to impasse and the board imposed a contract on teachers that resulted in a $100 increase on the base salary for a beginning teacher.

The school board had said the school district is in a better financial position this year and was able to offer more money for teacher salary increases. Negotiators for both sides were pleased with the end result.

A majority of MEA members and the school board must still ratify the agreement.

The agreement calls for a $1,300 increase on the base salary for a beginning teacher during the first year of the contract boosting the beginning salary to $43,888 and a $1,500 increase on the base salary for a beginning teacher during the second year of the contract, boosting the beginning salary to $45,503.

Business manager Scott Moum estimated that the additional cost to the district in salaries and benefits would be $2.48 million the first year of the contract and $2.72 million the second year.

Board negotiators agreed to honor the existing salary schedule and allow teachers to earn increases based on additional education and years of experience.

Teacher negotiators said they would agree to the board’s proposal to reduce the employer share of the health savings account contribution beginning in January 2020. For a single teacher, the proposed employer contribution would be $1,631 in 2019-2020 and $1,509 in 2020-2021. The employer would contribute $2,850 in 2019-2020 for an employee plus a dependent and $2,634 in 2020-2021. For a family plan, the employer would contribute $3,983 in 2019-2020 and $3,678 in 2020-2021. For a family with two Minot Public Schools employees, the employer would contribute $5,400 to the health savings account in 2019-2020 and $5,400 in 2020-2021.

Teacher negotiators agreed to withdraw a proposal to include domestic partners in people for whom a teacher may use sick leave and family leave.

The school board agreed to withdraw a proposal that a teacher may use child rearing leave only for a child who is under the age of 7, but did include language that forbids a teacher from using the leave to explore other career options.

COMMENTS