Fayette’s teachers have a new three-year contract and both sides are praising the other for the cooperative effort.
School board members approved the new contract unanimously Monday at the April meeting.
Superintendent Russ Griggs described the negotiation process as very non-confrontational, with give and take from both sides.
“It was a good process and a good reflection of the attitude and professionalism of the staff,” he said.
Teacher Suzette Boesger, representing the teachers’ association, said that feeling was shared by the staff negotiating team. She called the process a welcome change from some past negotiations.
Griggs said the union accepted a change in health insurance that results in higher deductible charges for staff. However, the savings to the district from that move will cover the cost of a pay increase.
The base salary will increase by 3.0 percent for the 2008-09 school year and by 2.5 percent in 2009-10. The contract language is set for three years, he said, but the salary portion only can be reopened for the final year of the pact.
Among other changes, maternity leave was clarified and limits are placed on the number of days available without the certification of a doctor.
Griggs said another mark of success was that no legal counsel was hired by negotiations.
“That saved thousands of dollars that can be spent on education instead,” he said.