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Harwood Union teachers’ contract ratified

The Harwood Union School Board and the Harwood Education Association have ratified a teachers’ contract for the next three years.

The contract calls for a 3 percent total new money increase in the first year, 2012-2013. The second year, 2013-2014, the contract calls for a 3.25 percent total new money increase. In the final year, 2014-2015, the contract calls for a 3.5 percent total new money increase.

Teachers at Harwood and throughout Vermont have pay scales that reflect their years of service as well as their level of education. The higher the level of education, the higher the pay scales.

For example, in the first year of the contract, a teacher starting next fall with a bachelor’s degree would earn $37,192. That same teacher with a master’s degree would start at $42,399. A teacher with a master’s degree plus 45 education credits would start at $47,978.

In the second year of the contract, a teacher with a bachelor’s degree who was just hired would start at $37,772. A teacher with a master’s degree would start at $43,060 and a teacher with a master’s degree plus 45 educational credits would start at $48,726.

In the third year of the contract, a teacher with a bachelor’s degree who was starting out would be paid $38,414; a teacher with a master’s degree, $43,792 and a master’s degree plus 45 educational credits, $49,554.

Those are the starting salaries. In the first year of the contract a teacher with a bachelor’s degree and eight years of experience would be paid $50,209. That same teacher with a master’s degree would be paid $55,416 and with a master’s degree plus 45 educational credits, that teacher would be paid $60,995. Those numbers increase to $50,992, $56,281 and $61,946 in the second year of the contract. In the third year, those numbers are $51,859, $57,237 and $63,000.

The calculation of teacher salaries includes level of education and tenure so while teachers with a master’s degree will max out of their “step increases” at eight years, those with additional education will see their pay level continue to rise until the 20th year of service (for teachers with a master’s degree plus 45 educational credits).

The top of the pay scale (master’s degree plus 45 educational credits plus 20-plus years of service) for the first year is $76,616. The second year of the contract that number is $77,811and the third year it is $79,134.

According to Harwood Union School Board member Dale Smeltzer the new contract also increases the percentage that teachers will pay for their health insurance in the third year by 1 percent, bringing them to paying 13 percent of their health care costs.

Smeltzer said the new contract looks very different from previous contracts and said it has been rewritten to be consistent with other teachers’ contracts in the Washington West Supervisory Union. Negotiations between the school board and teachers association began in January and were completed in April.

The contract was signed on July 12.

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