SACS teachers close to pay raise
29 Oct 2021 — Journal Gazette
Ashley Sloboda

Southwest Allen County Schools teachers are days from working under a new one-year contract that will raise the minimum base salary by $2,500.

The proposed base salary range is 43,500 to 78,500 under terms the board considered Thursday. The maximum reflects a $3,000 increase from the previous agreement.

A points system will help determine individual raises, said Chris Broni, president of the Southwest Allen County Teachers Association.

Teachers receive six points : also called units : for being rated effective or highly effective. They may also earn up to three points for university credits : an incentive for teachers to pursue a master's or other advanced degree, Broni said.

Each unit is valued at $636.

Superintendent Park Ginder had only positive feedback about the negotiations.

The five board members had little to add, adjourning after less than five minutes.

Mark Gilpin complimented a change that encourages educators to declare their intent to retire by Feb. 1. The board member said it is frustrating to get those notices late in the academic year.

"That happens, sometimes," Gilpin said, "but it just seems like it happens more than it should."

Teachers meeting the February deadline will receive a stipend equal to two days' pay to clean out their rooms and pass pertinent information and materials to building administrators. Educators previously did that on their own time, Broni said after the meeting.

"I've never seen a good solution for that until now, so I thank you, guys," Gilpin said.

Ginder credited the idea to Brad Yates, superintendent of Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan School District.

The tentative agreement also details stipends for teachers participating in eSACS Virtual School, which began last academic year for grades six through 12. Teachers will receive 500 per semester and 155 per student per semester for each virtual student assigned to them on the last day of enrollment each semester.

Ginder didn't immediately know the number of virtual school teachers.

Board President Bradley Mills will be absent when the board votes on the contract at 7 p.m. Wednesday, but he said he supports it.

The union voted to accept the agreement this week, Broni said, noting the district has about 450 teachers.

This story is provided free courtesy of The Fort Wayne Newspapers.
"SACS teachers close to pay raise" Journal Gazette 29 Oct 2021: A1