Archive for Thursday, May 8, 2008

ENEA, board reach tentative agreement

May 8, 2008

Representatives for the Eudora National Teachers Association and the Eudora USD 491 Board of Education came to a tentative agreement Friday on a teaching contract for the 2008-09 school year.

Terms of the agreement will not be made known until both parties have ratified the contract.

The tentative agreement was made during just the third round of negotiations. Board of education representative Brenda Clark said it was a result of the presentation teacher representatives made for a salary proposal at an April 18 meeting between the two parties.

"They were so on top of everything and presented it in such a speedy, detailed manner," she said. "The tentative agreement is going to be extremely beneficial to the teachers and the district, but will also benefit student learning and that is what this is all about."

Teachers and the district didn't complete a contract for the 2007-08 school year until mid-December.

The ENEA proposed to raise the base salary by $2,400 from $32,600 to $35,000 for the 2008-09 school year.

The union also would like to see an increase to the steps, which are how much wages increase in proportion to teachers' experience and education.

The last contract raised the base salary $1200 from $31,400 to $32,600, but did not add to the steps.

The union's proposal also would increase the movement between step columns to $600 before the master's degree column and $1,200 thereafter.

Teachers currently receive $300 before the master's degree column with a raise of $1,400 after receiving the degree. However, they continue to receive $300 a column after receiving their master's.

"Although the agreement is tentative and subject to ratification, I think everyone feels like top priorities of this agreement are the encouragement of teachers to pursue additional education and the ability to attract and retain the best teachers at all points in their career," Superintendent Marty Kobza said in a released statement.

Teachers also sought changes for the liquidation process - which deals with the financial penalty a teacher must pay the district if a teacher quits after the hiring process for the next year is finished - the amount of money a teacher can be docked in the event that they cannot work for health reasons after they have used up their sick days and the allowance for up to five days to attend ENEA or KNEA functions.

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