Although Rossville-Alvin faces similar financial challenges as other school districts around the state because of the decrease in state-aid payments, Johnson said the district felt it was important to compensate the staff.
“You have to pay your employees,” she said. “We felt like we needed to do something for them. We’re thankful for what they do.”
The new contract, which expires June 30, 2014, increases the certified teachers’ base salary by 2 percent to $26,710. A 1 percent increase was added to noncertified employees’ base salaries, which vary depending on job.
The agreement also gives staff a choice of a cash option of $395 per month for employees who are in the district’s health insurance plan to offset the cost of the coverage, or $310 a month to be invested in an annuity for employees who are not in the insurance plan.
Also included in the contract is a retirement incentive that is in effect for the 2012-13 school year.
Johnson explained that if teachers submit a letter of resignation by a certain date at the beginning of the school year, those teachers will receive a $10,000 post-resignation payment at the end of the school year. Teachers also can wait until March 1, 2013, to notify the school district of their intent to resign, but those teachers will receive a $5,000 post-resignation payment.
Johnson said teachers who intend to retire or resign at the end of this school year have to meet certain requirements to receive the post-resignation payment.
The new contract also contains language regarding the new teacher evaluation system that is required by state law, as well as something Johnson said “might seem like a little thing, but it’s a big thing for teachers.”
According to the new pact, teachers can leave up to 45 minutes early at the end of the school day up to three times a year as long as they have another teacher cover their classroom for them, Johnson said.