Warden teacher contract details released

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WARDEN — Warden School District teachers will make a minimum of $45,166 for the 2018-19 school year, under the terms of a three-year contract approved by Warden Education Association members and the district. The two sides reached tentative agreement June 28, and the contract was ratified by the Warden School Board at its Aug. 9 meeting. The WEA ratified the contract earlier, but the details were not released until last week. The school board vote was 3-0, with board member Bryce Cox abstaining. Cox’s wife works as a substitute teacher, he said, and has worked at Warden often enough to be represented by the WEA. The 2018-21 contract was the first negotiated by the district following sweeping changes in teacher compensation by the Washington Legislature. Previously all teachers statewide were paid according to the same salary schedule. Changes enacted by the legislature left each district to negotiate its own deal with teachers. The legislature did establish a minimum and maximum salary, and provided substantially more money for all employees. Warden school board members, administrators and teachers opted to keep a salary schedule, which provides more money for teachers as they gain experience and take continuing education classes. A first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree will start at the minimum salary. For the 2019-20 school year, that increases to $46,521 and to $47,917 in the 2020-21 school year. Salary for a teacher with five years experience and 45 continuing education credits will be $42,397 in the first year. For the 2019-20 school year, that teacher will make $53,968, and in 2020-21 that teacher will make $55,588. A teacher with 10 years experience, a master’s degree and 45 continuing education credits will make $68,984 in the contract’s first year, $71,053 in 2019-20 and $73,185 in 2020-21. Teachers can reach a maximum salary, which depends on experience and continuing education. As an example, a teacher in Warden with a bachelor’s degree and no continuing education hits the max salary in 10 years. Warden’s salary schedule hits maximum at 16 years, with a PhD, or with a master’s degree and 90 continuing education credits. The max is $89,130 in the first year, $91,804 for the 2109-20 school year and $94,558 in the 2020-21 school year. That’s the base salary. Teachers also are eligible for supplemental contracts for extra work related to education outside the school day. Those too are based on years of experience and continuing education. The contract also includes extensive rules for teacher evaluation - two different methods, depending on when the teacher started teaching - along with teacher training, insurance and paid leave, among others. The entire contract is available on the district’s website, under the school board tab.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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