AWEA accepts Master Contract

Posted March 21, 2014 at 3:20 pm

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+20;

• BA+30;

• 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

• MA+30.

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.

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