Teachers to get 2 percent pay raise

A compromise has been reached in the feud over pay and benefits between teachers and the South Whidbey School District.

Don Zisette, president of the South Whidbey Education Association, confirmed Friday morning that teachers will receive a 2-percent increase in pay for each of the next two years, get three personal days off yearly versus the current two, and will be expected to add two more work days.

There will be a salary schedule adjustment for teachers with more than 16 year’s tenure, worth up to $200 annually.

“Overall negotiations went well and we ended up at a pretty good place,” Zisette said.

The new contract is on the agenda for the school board meeting Wednesday, June 27. Superintendent Fred McCarthy will recommend the contract be approved.

McCarthy declined to spell out what’s in the new agreement.

“We will be giving complete details of the contract at the board meeting,” McCarthy said.

“I understand the teacher voting process was very positive. I’m pleased with how negotiations came together and we were able to reach an agreement,” he added.

Negotiators for the South Whidbey School District and the union representing the teachers reached a tentative agreement late on June 13. The teachers voted on the contract on June 19.

During earlier talks, teachers had asked for an increase of

3 percent per year over the life of the two-year contract — including roughly $120 more per person in health benefits — to cover what they consider additional responsibilities, especially time spent beyond the contracted work day. The current agreement expires in August.

The district countered with a one-half percent increase, which the union rejected.

The teacher association represents 129 teachers and certificated specialist staff such as counselors and psychologists.

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