Spokane teachers will get a 4 percent raise in the first year of a three-year contract negotiated in record time with Spokane School District 81.
Salaries will begin at roughly $22,000 for a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree.
Top scale will be roughly $46,000 for a teacher with 15 years’ experience, a master’s degree plus two additional years of education.
The district and the 2,500-member Spokane Education Association came to terms on the agreement Friday, two months before the current contract expires.
Negotiations usually drag out until the end of August.
Other employees such as cafeteria workers and custodians will get a 5 percent increase the first year of the contract and a 1 percent increase each of the remaining years.
These “classified employees” have had no state pay increases the past two years.
Association members still must ratify the contract.
First-year teachers will work two extra training days under the agreement.
During the training days, new teachers will learn safety guidelines for cleaning up blood spills to prevent hepatitis and HIV infection.
Negotiations began in May. A new bargaining technique in which labor and management work together to solve problems helped speed the agreement, said association President Jerry Hopkins.
“It’s a fair contract, one that will allow us to continue making Spokane schools better through our longrange strategic plan,” said Superintendent Gary Livingston.
The teachers’ salary increase is a “pass-through” of money approved by the state Legislature.
Future raises will depend on legislators.
The district and the union agreed to set aside $300,000 of local money to maintain education reform efforts.
The contract formally contin-ues an educational safety committee, the so-called “violence” committee, to deal with the safety issues such as weapons in schools and student discipline.
The contract also sets up a committee to resolve staff transfer and assignment issues away from the bargaining table.
The district’s chief negotiators were Assistant Superintendent Mark Anderson, Area Director Joan Kingrey, employee relations director Dolores Humiston, and consultant Fred Swanstrom.
John Kostecka, Steve Paulson and Jerry Hopkins negotiated for the association.