Friday, March 24, 2006
New contract gives teachers 4% pay hike
A new contract gives teachers a four percent annual raise for the next three years, an amount intended to encourage teachers to stay at the Carlisle School. "There's been a fair bit of turnover," School Committee Chair David Dockterman pointed out, saying the contract is focused on overall retention of teachers. "The School Committee wanted to encourage stability so teachers will stay."
The 2006-2009 three-year contract has a four percent raise the first year, and a 3.9 percent raise in each of the following two years. The contract is an increase from the current contract in which teachers had a two percent annual raise. (Carlisle town employees will receive a 3.5 percent raise in the fiscal year FY07, which begins this July 1.)
"It's a fair partnership," Dockterman said, describing the Carlisle Teachers' Association and School Committee negotiations over the contract that is now signed and approved by both groups. "The last contract was at the lower end. This time it's at the higher end," he said pointing out the economy is better than it was three years ago in 2003 when teachers accepted a lower raise in recognition of town finances at the time. In the previous contract the first year's raise was taken out of separate funds for teacher professional development.
The school committee hopes to retain teachers with young children by offering the space for future on-site childcare and also job sharing possibilities. "We want to make an investment in teachers," Dockterman said and on-site childcare will allow some teachers to make more of a time commitment to the school. The contract states: "The School Committee shall request that the School Building Committee make every effort to provide in its master planning process and design for building and renovation the dedication of appropriate space for use as a child-care center for the children of teachers in the Carlisle Public School system. Provisions for such a child-care center shall be the responsibility of the Carlisle Teachers Association."
In the last three years, 31 new teachers started at the Carlisle School to replace teachers who left, in part, due to early retirement benefits offered to teachers with 30 years experience by the Massachusetts Teachers' Retirement System.
The new contract includes separate reimbursement funds for teacher professional development courses, some of which are required by school district goals. Also in the contract are teacher stipends for extra work, including curriculum coordinators, coaching athletic teams, managing musical or drama productions, or teaching after school courses. The school committee and the teachers' association will set up a task force to establish standards to define what the compensation stipends should be for various jobs.
Teachers in Carlisle are paid a base salary, plus an amount based on their education level, (Bachelor's degree, MA, or PhD) and the number of years of teaching experience they have attained. There are 13 steps in the Carlisle teacher compensation scale.
© 2006 The