Thursday, February 27, 2020

Teachers, school district ratify new contract terms

The Van Buren Public Schools and the Van Buren Education Association have agreed to a new contract.
Members of the board of education unanimously ratified the new 2-year contract which will invest about $2 million into teaching in the district during the Feb. 10 meeting. According to district Human Resources Director Abdul Madyun, the contract will increase salary levels by $600 the first year and an additional $400 the second year.
President of the Van Buren Education Association Marcus Hosman said he was pleased with the contract.

“It's a good bargain, though the bargaining was very time-consuming,” he said. Hosman added that the new self-insurance plan in the contract could mean more money for the teachers who received the longevity pay the union has been asking for in several past contract negotiations.
The contract also includes a provision that will allow for the reopening of salary negotiations if the per-pupil foundation allowance from the state increases to $8,728 or decreases to $8,128. That per-pupil funding is now $8,228.
Longevity payments begin for teachers with 14 or more years seniority in the district at $600; those with 20-25 years in the district will receive $1,000 and teachers with 26 or more years in the district will receive $1,400.
While the health insurance coverage offered teachers will remain unchanged, a committee will be established to address classroom safety issues, Madyun said. The contract also includes language regarding support for severe disciplinary issues and legal help should a teacher “doing their job” be the subject of litigation or a lawsuit.