Contract negotiations between the Association of Calhoun Educators (ACE) and the Calhoun County School Board (CCSB) came to a conclusion on March 29th.
During the 4 ½ hour session the parties reached agreement on all outstanding items, finalizing provisions such as teacher rights, grievance procedure, teacher authority and protection, working conditions, duty-free lunch periods, planning and preparation time, out-of-field assignments, fair discipline and dismissal, transfers and vacancies, paid/unpaid leaves of absence, school calendar, and association rights.
Of particular note in the 3-year agreement are salary increases which are higher than in many neighboring districts this year. For teachers who are paid under the state-mandated performance pay system, teachers rated “Effective” for the previous year’s (2015-16) evaluation will receive a $1,000 pay increases and for those rated “Highly Effective,” increases of $1,223. Teachers who are paid under the grandfathered pay system will receive $1,000 increases. The entry level salary will increase by $332, which will be paid to newly-hired teachers who weren’t evaluated in CCSB last year. Also notable was that the parties agreed that the Board would increase its contribution to health insurance by $100 per month to address the large premium increase this year.
Following the final session ACE President Russell Baggett remarked, “We are very excited to complete this critical step in further establishing ACE as the voice for teachers in Calhoun County. After many long bargaining sessions we are proud to create, along with the Board, an agreement which is fair – to teachers, to the District, and to the school community. We believe this new contract represents our best efforts and we are proud to send it to the teachers for approval.”
The next step in the process is for each party to take the tentative contract agreement to its respective constituents – the teachers and the School Board members – who will vote in the coming weeks to approve or reject the contract. Should both parties approve the agreement, retroactive salary increases will be distributed to teachers as soon as possible and the new contract will go into effect.