The Monroe County Community school board approved a collective agreement with its teachers yesterday. The Board of Trustees of the Monroe County Community School Corporation reviewed the tentative three-year agreement between the Corporation and the local teachers’ union, the Monroe County Education Association. The Attorney for the MCCSC, Charles Rubright [RU-bright], introduced the proposed agreement to the board.
Legislation passed by the state in 2011 limits how teachers’ unions can collectively bargain with local school corporations. They are only allowed to negotiate wages and benefits. They can no longer bargain around issues such as length of the work day, layoffs, teacher evaluations, and wage-setting criteria. In the past, the two parties negotiated salary schedules that were based on such factors as seniority, responsibility, and credentials.
These new regulations eliminate the old salary ladder. The last contract, signed in 2011, was for four years, with a one percent across the board wage increase in the first year and none in subsequent years. There were also no wage automatic increases during the two years prior to the last agreement. Rubright noted that corporation teachers as well as new hires received a total across the board wage increase of one percent over the last six years.
Teachers who start with, or later acquire, advanced degrees are no longer automatically compensated for those credentials. Absenteeism will now also be considered in setting compensation. The contract also includes a special pay incentive for teachers who stay on at Fairview School. At an earlier meeting, the members of the teachers’ union in attendance voted unanimously to approve the tentative collective agreement. The MCCSC Board voted unanimously to approve the agreement with the teacher’s union. The terms of the new agreement will apply retroactively to January 1st of this year.