Cary District 26, teachers agree on four-year contract
Cary Elementary School District 26 and its teachers represented by the Cary Education Association have reached an agreement on a new, four-year contract.
The union ratified the four-year pact July 27, and the school board approved it Aug. 1, according to a news release.
The deal, which runs until the first day of the 2026-27 school year, calls for annual salary increases of 3.75%, 3.75%, 3.56% and 3.56%.
"After months of negotiations, the District 26 school board and Cary Education Association were successful in reaching an agreement that will benefit the Cary community, students and teachers," CEA Co-Presidents Annette Bear and Laura Whyte said in a joint statement.
"This agreement will result in an increase in the ability of the district to hire and retain the best teachers for our students. The school board and CEA display a genuine unified commitment in the collaborative process that underscores the success that can be achieved when we work together."
In addition to the salary increases, the agreement calls for the district's contribution to teachers' dental and medical insurance to increase from 70% to 75% of the premium. The union's sick day allotments were increased by one day a year, and teachers may now take four bereavement days after the death of a family member, up from three days in the previous contract.
A tuition reimbursement program also has been instituted to encourage teachers to pursue advanced training.
School board President Deanna "Dee" Darling, who participated in the negotiations, called the deal "mutually beneficial for everyone involved."
"This agreement is both fair to our teachers and to the taxpayers who support our public schools," Darling said.