Friday, October 19, 2001

Mason teachers OK new contract

By Sarah Buehrle
Enquirer Contributor

        MASON — The Mason Board of Education and the district's teachers union agreed on a three-year contract Thursday night, averting a strike threatened forthis month.

        The board approved the contract 5-0 less than two hours after the union — the Mason Education Association — overwhelmingly approved the agreement, 342-11. The contract was presented to the union Wednesday by a federal mediator.

        “It's regrettable that this negotiation caused anxious times for families in this community,” said Marianne Culbertson, board president.

        “I would hope that both the board and the MEA would seek to heal feelings of lost respect and trust, and the community would give the opportunity to earn that back.”

        The teachers voted Oct. 10 to strike and set Oct. 29 for the walkout.

        “Each person kept the kids of our district in focus at all times,” said Jerry Schrock, a member of the union's negotiation team.

        Provisions include:

        • Binding arbitration.

        • Up to 30 hours of additional professional development time.

        • Salary increases of 3.6 percent for teachers in their first year, 4 percent in their second year and 5 percent in their third year.

        The district's average salary for a teacher is $40,299, with a starting salary of $29,676. At the top end, a teacher who has 27 years of experience and a master's degree plus 30 graduate hours of study could earn $69,382.

        “We haven't discussed (salaries) since May,” Mr. Schrock said.

        Terms of the new contract are retroactive to July 1. The old contract expired June 30.


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