The Auburn School District and the Auburn Education Association this week agreed on a two-year teacher contract that calls for salary increases of 11 percent in the first year and 1.9 percent in the second year.
Negotiations began in June, the district reached a tentative agreement with the AEA over the teacher salaries Sunday night, and the AEA ratified the contract at its meeting at 4 p.m. Monday, two hours before the Auburn School Board convened for its regular meeting.
Classes begin Sept. 5.
At the heart of the negotiations was state money the ASD has received from the McCleary Supreme Court settlement, Auburn School District Superintendent Alan Spicciati said late Tuesday afternoon. The ASD was in fact one of many districts throughout the state renegotiating teacher salaries after the state high court’s ruling guaranteed about $2 billion toward teachers’ wages.
“The challenge this year was that under the McCleary legislation, a lot of things changed, and we had to bargain the impacts of how teachers are paid, what counts as base and what counts as supplemental pay, and how to deal with new revenues, some of which do not sustain into the future. Those are the things we needed to work through to come to an agreement,” Spicciati said.
“We have a good process to identify our own interests and our shared interests, and to work from there to problem solve and get to a solution,” Spicciati added.
Spicciati said the district agreed with the AEA’s perspective that the Legislature had provided money for teachers’ salaries, but added, “Our job was to make sure that any raises are sustainable. So, we landed on a two-year agreement that we know we can pay for over the next two years.
“I would characterize our relationship with the AEA as really positive and productive, and that’s based on a long history of working together,” Spicciati said. “We were really pleased that our teachers approached this professionally, and we were able to work through different points of view, but always with an eye on resolving our differences so we can start school on time and focus on our kids.”