By Julie Ann Madden
“The 2014-2015 Akron-Westfield Master Contract provides us some stability,” said A-W Shared Superintendent Randy Collins. “Board members commented how nice it’ll be focusing on teaching a year from now instead of negotiating.”
“(The two-year contract) sends the right message to our staff — that they are valued and are here to stay,” he told the board at their March 10 meeting.
Board members couldn’t remember the last time the school district had a two-year contract. The consensus was that it was prior to 1998 — before any current members were on the board and Board Member Jodi Thompson was the district’s business manager.
This contract, negotiated between the Akron-Westfield Education Association with Collins and district’s attorney Jim Hanks representing the board, includes a 4.15 percent total package increase each year.
According to A-W Business Manager Jodi Ryan, this is a $1,950 base increase per Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) position.
A-W officials agreed to change the supplemental lanes as AWEA Chief Negotiator Todd Colt had requested.
The new lanes are:
• Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree;
• BA plus 10 credits (BA+10);
• BA+45/Master of Arts (MA) degree.
A stipulation here is only current certified staff who achieve a BA+45 will be allowed to get this lane money. With the 2014-2015 salary schedule, the BA+45 is eliminated; therefore, all new staff must earn an MA degree to move from a BA+30 lane.
• MA+15; and
The cost related to the schedule lane changes one-half will be applied in 2014-2015 and half will be applied in 2015-2016, said Ryan, adding insurance costs decreased and IPERS retirement benefits remained the same.
“So most of the raise basically went straight to salaries,” said Ryan.
“The AWEA agreed to a cash-basis, which means it will really help our younger teachers become more competitive with nearby districts,” said Collins, repeating that is a $1,950 per FTE increase annually.
Cash basis means each FTE (teacher) got the same amount of money regardless of what their current salary is. Percentage basis means the increase is a percentage of their current salary so an increase for a veteran teacher would have involved more cash than what a less veteran teacher would have gotten: 4.1 percent of $50,000 as compared to 4.1 percent of $35,000, said Collins.
The final hiring schedule base for a teacher with a BA Degree is $29,803, which includes Teacher Supplemental Salary pay.
In addition, Coaches and Supplemental Schedule Contracts’ pay was increased 4.1 percent each year of the two-year contract. These positions include Athletic Director; assistant musical director; assistant speech director; Large Group Speech director; Head Play Director/Musical director; assistant Drill Team director; Concession Stand manager; and sponsors for Family, Careers & Community Leaders Association; Junior Class, cheerleading, Individual Speech Contest, Assistant High School Coach Vocal or Instrumental Music; Annual (Yearbook); Activity Bus Chaperones; and all coaches.