The special meeting was scheduled to meet the obligation of new legislation. Senate Enrolled Act 390 from the 2019 General Assembly requires that the school corporation hold a public meeting to discuss a tentative collective bargaining agreement at least 72 hours before the meeting where it is ratified.
The tentative agreement reached includes a new New Teacher Hiring scale. It increases the base salary of a new teacher with zero years of experience from 34,398 to 37,000 and extends the number of years of experience the corporation recognize to 18 instead of 13.
The new teacher salary scale provides a framework for current Plymouth Community School Corporation teachers and their respective years of experience. An eligible teacher will receive the greater of the following: either a $1400 base salary increase or the difference between their current salary and that which their years of experience correlates to on the salary scale with a not to exceed of $2800.
The agreement also includes removing the 401(a) contribution of .6% of the base salary and adding it to the 1.15% that the corporation contributes to teachers’ VEBA accounts making that total contribution now 1.75%. This transition will happen at the end of the calendar year.
About a dozen teachers attended the special meeting. Plymouth Educational Association co-chairman, Laura Kruyer commented, “Usually I wait for the school board meeting in which there will be a vote on it. But I’d just like to echo what Mr. Hartley said about the collaborative effort within the negotiations. We spent a lot of time talking about our vision for Plymouth Community Schools and where we want to be and of course wanting to retain quality teachers for our students. We have a common vision and that’s very important. We are very pleased with the proposed contract.”
Kruyer said, “This contract is a positive step forward in bringing up the salaries for some of the younger teachers who have stayed her in Plymouth have fallen behind in salary but this contract allows for us to catch up on some of it. It’s not quite where we want to be yet, but it is definitely a positive step forward.” She closed her comments by saying, “I’m hopeful this will be some incentive for them to stay right here in Plymouth because we have some really great teachers and we definitely want to keep them.”
This was the only item on the agenda for the special meeting and no action was taken on the tentative agreement. The school board will take action on the tentative 2019 – 2020 agreement at their November 5th meeting.