Lincoln County School District (LCSD) and Lincoln County Education Association (LCEA) successfully completed negotiations for a Collective Bargained Agreement (CBA) for the 2015-2018 school years. The District and LCEA started bargaining for a successor agreement on January 6, 2015 and completed formal negotiations with tentative agreements on December 18th. This concluded approximately nine bargaining and one mediation sessions. Final ratification of the contract will conclude at the board meeting on February 9th with both parties signing the agreement.
Notable changes to the contract include a new salary schedule that is one of the highest starting teacher salaries in Oregon, significantly increasing the salary for teachers early in their career. The salary for a new teacher with a bachelor’s degree and no experience will increase from $35,579 per year to $41,188. Salary for teachers with a masters plus 45 credits and 16 or more years of experience will see an increase from $69,465 to $70,854.
Teachers with experience outside the district will be allowed up to 10 years of prior experience for salary placement, an increase from the previous six years. Increasing salaries for beginning teachers and increasing the amount of experience were goals of both parties in an effort to attract teachers to our area.
It is difficult to give an exact figure on the total cost of this proposal but the retroactive payments for November and December was approximately $35,000 per month. A rough yearly estimate for the new salary schedule will be $420,000 per year increase in teacher salary compensation. Added to this is the effect of the teacher’s retirement contribution, which will add approximately $106,134 per year. The new salary schedule is effective November 1st, with curriculum rate and extra service pay increases effective January 1st. Teachers with credit outside the district experience will start with newly hired employees after final ratification.
Medical and health benefits will change next year with a District sponsored Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) for those who choose the designated MODA Plan G coverage. The district will continue covering the premium cost of the designated plan for medical, vision and dental insurance for employee and their family.
The teacher evaluation committee was restructured to eight members, four representing LCEA and four administration. The committee will review the evaluation process, monitor implementation, and recommend changes to the evaluation handbook. Two sections were added which would prevent any teacher’s summative evaluation report from being identifiable on state or federal reporting and defined that teachers will decide what measures will be used to determine student growth in addition to the standardized test data.
Other changes include: updating the agreement to match current state laws; teacher rights to allow more academic freedom with the use of supplemental materials to support district curriculum and that gives the teacher latitude to modify the pace and delivery of instruction; guarantee of two paid teacher days to prepare for the start of the school year; and formation of a committee that will update and modify inequities in the co-curricular/extra-curricular salary schedule. The District is pleased with the changes made to the bargained agreement and anticipate that it will help continue to recruit and retain quality teachers in the Lincoln County School District.
Information provided by LCSD