Facebook Twitter

CACHE TEACHERS GAIN AT LEAST 6% RAISE UNDER NEW CONTRACT

SHARE CACHE TEACHERS GAIN AT LEAST 6% RAISE UNDER NEW CONTRACT

A contract ratified Thursday by teachers in the Cache County School District gives educators at least a six percent pay hike, while more experienced teachers receive even greater salary benefits.

Cache Education Association President Barbara Culvert said 93 percent of the district's teachers approved the contract while 7 percent voted to reject it because of cuts in insurance coverage.Superintendent Clark Puffer said the district is paying 24 percent more in insurance premiums this year, but that isn't enough to give teachers the coverage they previously had.

He said single teachers will have a $200 deductible rather than $100 and those with families will pay $400 compared to $200 last year.

He said teachers also will have to pay more for prescription drugs.

Culvert said the salary package is a "significant increase" for teachers who have been employed more than 15 years.

Puffer said the Legislature's appropriation this year was enough to provide additional funding to increase teachers' salaries as they complete master's and doctorate degrees.

The beginning salary is now $16,407. The maximum salary for an educator with a master's degree, 45 additional credits and 15 years experience is $32,814.

The superintendent said elementary teachers are pleased with another contract "morale booster" which provides an additional half-hour of weekly class preparation time.

He said money to pay music and art specialists for teaching students during that time came from class-size reduction monies.

The district obtained those funds by utilizing a Legislature-approved voted leeway, whereby the state would provide up to $20 per student as a result of a 2-mill property tax increase imposed by the district.

The Legislature said the money was to be designated to reduce class sizes unless the district could show there was no overcrowding problem.

"Our district gained about $500,000 that way and since there is no empty classroom space, the added preparation time is seen as a way to take some of the pressure off teachers," he said.