Vote raises salaries after four year freeze
Nearly 500 members of the St. Tammany Federation of Teachers and School Employees met at Fontainebleau High School to ratify a contract proposal that was approved by the school board on Thursday.
Because the school board and Federation operate under a collective bargaining agreement, teachers and school employees have a vote on issues involving their jobs.
The new agreement will cost the school board $25 million for raises over the four years covered by the collective bargaining agreement with the Federation.
“After winning a one-time supplement for all employees last fall, our next step was to ensure that we unfreeze the salary schedule and guarantee raises for each year of the contract,” said STFT/SE President Debbie Green. “Our loyal educators certainly deserve this raise, and we are pleased that we were able to work with the board and administration to make it a reality.”
St. Tammany has a complicated salary schedule that takes into account an employee’s academic degrees, years of service, and evaluation status.
The salary schedule has been frozen for four years. The new agreement unfreezes two steps this year, adding about $1,000 to each teacher’s salary. Additionally, it includes a $500 stipend for “highly qualified” teachers (about 2,200 of the parish’s 3,000 teachers), and $500 for advanced degrees added to the base salary. With a simplified salary schedule, each teacher will receive another $500 in each of the next two years.
Support employees will have a $700 increase in base salary plus an additional $350 for each level.
The school board has put a formula on its web site at stpsb.org that will allow each employee to determine the exact raise they can expect.