Saturday, September 19, 2015

Westerville teachers get new contract

Thursday September 10, 2015 1:28 PM

The Westerville Board of Education approved a new contract with the Westerville Education Association in a special meeting this morning, Sept. 10.

The contract between the board and its teachers union is retroactive to Sept. 1 and remains in effect through the 2017-18 school year.

The three-year agreement includes base salary increases of 2 percent each year, a $900 annual one-time payment not included on base salaries and the addition of one step on the supplemental contract salary schedule, according to a press release issued Thursday by Greg Viebranz, the district's executive director communications and technology.

All other salary schedule step increases for experience and additional education remain the same, as does the benefits package available to WEA members, the release said.

Treasurer Bart Griffith said the total cost of the contract over three years is projected to be about $20 million, the majority of which was accounted for in the district's latest five-year financial forecast, according to the release.

The newly approved contract replaces the WEA's three-year contract that expired Aug. 31. That pact included salary concessions made by WEA to help the district address financial challenges it was experiencing in 2011, Viebranz said.

Westerville Board of Education President Tracy Davidson in the release said board members believe the new contract is fair and equitable and addresses several critical issues brought to the table by both the WEA and board.

"We're extremely pleased that both parties were able to come to an agreement that not only recognizes the valuable role our teachers play in educating the students of Westerville City Schools but (also) allows the district to remain on a positive financial trajectory while maintaining its financial promises to the community," she said in the release.

The first portion of the special board meeting this morning was a closed executive session for the purpose of discussing negotiations. Immediately following the closed session, the board voted 4-0 to approve the contract, which was approved by the union earlier this week. Board member Nancy Nestor-Baker was unable to attend the 9:30 a.m. special meeting.

For more details on the new contract, check out the Sept. 17 edition of ThisWeek Westerville News & Public Opinion.

http://www.thisweeknews.com/content/stories/westerville/news/2015/09/10/westerville-teachers-get-new-contract.html