Woodland school district, teachers union agree to five-year contract
After two years of pandemic-related delays, the Woodland Elementary School District 50 school board and the union representing district's 729 teachers and support staffers have agreed on a new 5-year contract, district and union leaders announced in a joint statement Monday.
In 2020 and 2021, the two sides agreed to one-year contracts with minor changes, citing the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic each time.
Among the larger changes in the new contract is the minimum salary for certified teachers in the district jumps from $34,576 last year to $40,000. State law requires minimum teacher salaries to increase to $40,000 by 2024.
The new salary structure will go up at a slower, more sustainable rate in the following years, according to the news release.
Middle school science teacher and union President Sharon Anday said the teachers and support staffers were grateful for the continued support of the school board through the challenges of the pandemic.
"I am confident this new contract meets the needs of our members, students and the entire school community," Anday said.
School board President Carla Little said the contract was built on solid ground and mutual respect between the two sides.
"This contract is the result of teamwork, compromise and problem-solving by both parties to figure out how best to support our staff, and how to continue providing top educational opportunities for our students," Little said.
Other notable changes in the new contract include pay increases for noncertified staffers and teachers who take on extra duties like coaching a team or directing a theater production.
Noncertified staffers will receive pay increases of 5% in year one, 4.5% in year two and 4% increases in years three, four and five. And noncertified staffers who currently earn less than $20 per hour will receive an additional immediate increase, according to the release.
Teachers who take on optional roles like coaching or directing will see their pay increase by 2% in the second and third years of the contract and another 1% in years four and five, which will make their compensation more competitive with neighboring districts, according to the release.