SOUTHINGTON — Education leaders approved a three-year teachers contract with a revised pay increase schedule to boost wages for newer teachers.
The Board of Education unanimously agreed to the contract at its Thursday meeting.
Terri Carmody, board chairwoman, said the district was losing newer teachers to other school districts or to other professions.
“It was a (pay) grid that needed to be fixed and it was fixed,” Carmody said.
School Superintendent Steven Madancy said changing the pay grid was a major priority in the contract. He said it was accomplished with a “collaborative spirit” on both sides.
“The current salary structure made it difficult to retain qualified staff within the first eight years of their teaching career because we were not competitive. There were small salary increases in the beginning steps and very large increases as teachers moved between the higher steps,” Madancy said.Salary increases
The new contract begins July 2022 and ends June 2025. Salaries are based on years teaching in the district as well as education level.
The newest employees with a bachelor’s degree will earn $50,000 beginning in 2022, while the most experienced teachers with advanced education will earn $102,546. Those salaries will rise to $52,000 and $105,126 by the end of the contract.
Overall, the district will pay just over 11 percent more for teachers wages under the life of the contract. Madancy said grants will bring down the cost to the town’s school district to 9.15 percent over the next three years.
A third of the district’s teachers are at the highest salary step and will receive increases of 1.5, 1.5 and 1 percent over the next three years.Mediated contract
Madancy said the contract was mediated between the Southington Education Association and the Southington Board of Education.
Carmody said the entire board supported the contract.
“The entire board was very pleased with the contract and the work that our negotiating team did on it,” she said.
The Southington Education Association could not be reached for comment on the contract.