No raise for teachers; 4 percent next year | NevadaAppeal.com
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No raise for teachers; 4 percent next year

TERI VANCE

Carson City teachers will not receive a raise this year, according to a settlement reached Thursday afternoon.

However, they will receive a 4 percent increase staggered throughout next year. The agreement provides for teachers to receive a 2 percent raise on the first day of school and an additional 2 percent raise halfway through the year.

“The fact that the contract is settled for next year provides an opportunity for the board to prioritize increasing teachers’ salaries to retain the quality of teachers we now have and remain competitive in recruiting new teachers for future years,” said Jeff Greb, president of the Ormsby County Education Association.

The settlement came just before the two sides were scheduled to go to arbitration on Monday.

“I’m glad we did not end up in arbitration,” said trustee John McKenna. “I’m glad the parties saw the light and reached a mutual agreement. Having employees and the district at odds over anything detracts from our mission of educating.”

Teachers ratified the agreement in a March 29 meeting and members of the Carson City School Board passed it unanimously during a special board meeting Thursday at noon.

“The question has never been whether teachers deserved a raise, but the district’s ability to pay a raise based on its budget,” said board president Joanna Wilson. “The phased-in approach to the salary increase next year makes it possible for the district to meet its financial obligation to the teaching staff.”

The decision came after teachers staged a picket outside of the April 23 school board meeting. More than 100 teachers also attended meetings to call for the 2 percent raise allotted by the Legislature.

District officials argued the money passed down from the Legislature didn’t even cover the costs of the automatic 5 percent raises given to teachers every year, much less an additional 2 percent.

Carson City School District’s salary schedule gives teachers a 5 percent raise every year up to 10 years and an additional 5 percent raise for increased education up to 16 years.

The 4 percent raise next year will augment those automatic salary increases.

Superintendent Mary Pierczynski said the district will have to be “very efficient” to pay for the raises.

Officials announced at the April 23 meeting that 21 positions would be cut from next year’s budget. Eleven of them were simply not filled when the employee retired or resigned and 10 employees were given notice April 19 and 22.

Contact Teri Vance at tvance@nevadaappeal.com or at 881-1272.