Stillwater News Press

Local News

August 20, 2012

School board ratifies contracts for teachers, support personnel

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Stillwater Board of Education voted to ratify contracts for teachers and staff Monday during a 10-minute special board meeting at the administration building.

Members of the Stillwater Education Association voted unanimously last Friday to approve a contract that includes an average pay raise of 3.4 percent. Support staff union members also approved last Friday a contract that will result in an average pay hike of 3.5 percent.

Each contract required ratification by the school board.

“We have good years and bad years (negotiating contracts),” said school board president Mike Dicks. “But in the last couple of years, both sides have settled in and have been very amicable. And this year was a very good year.

“I think our proposals were very close. We tried to give them everything we could, and they saw that and we didn’t have any problem coming together on an agreement.”

Phillip Storm, chief financial officer for the district, said the district has not changed the salary scale in five years.

The pay increase for teachers is 2 percent on each step of the salary scale. Support personnel will receive their normal step increase and an additional 25 cents an hour.

The salary increases will cost the district an additional $628,000 for certified staff and $196,000 for support staff,

The teacher’s contract also included a $3,000 one-time stipend for obtaining an advanced degree.

Dicks said it is important for Stillwater schools that district leadership works with the Legislature for more funding.

“If (teachers and staff) do a good job, I think you need to reward them,” said Dicks. “Teachers who put in the effort to go get professional development, to get college credits to get another degree, they need to be rewarded.

“We would like to work with the Legislature to understand that. You can’t keep us at or below the cost of living. You need to reward good employees for their efforts.”

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