In a swift process, compared with last year, teachers in the Jordan School District and the school board have ratified a contract that includes a 3.25 percent salary increase for the 1991-92 school year.
The teachers ratified the proposal June 6, and the board approved it Tuesday night."My sense is that teachers are very happy to have (the contract) resolved before the summer," said Jordan Education Association president Carol Cremer. "We were very hopeful to reach an agreement before the end of the school year but weren't willing to reach an agreement without an acceptable settlement."
Last year, the district and the teachers spent four months on contract negotiations and were at an impasse for two of those months before ratifying a contract nearly two weeks after classes began in September.
Cremer credited this year's comparatively swift resolution to a yearlong effort, and board member Maurine Jensen complimented all involved for their spirit of cooperation.
Beginning in the fall, committees worked on insurance and class-size issues, traditional blocks in the negotiation process.
The JEA also changed its strategy when it presented its contract proposal. Instead of simply presenting it, the union spent about 21/2 hours in what Cremer called an "exchange" before the negotiating teams went to work in a marathon 12-hour session.
"All that effort through the fall and winter paid off this spring," she said.
In addition to the base 3.25 percent salary increase, the contract includes:
- Extra compensation for some of the district's year-round teachers.
- Career incentives for teachers in the higher salary range.
- An extra sick-leave day for teachers with at least five years of service.
- A budget allocation to cover a 5 percent increase in health and accident insurance costs.
- Plans to organize a middle school discipline committee.
- Plans for a committee, headed by district Superintendent Raymond Whittenburg, to study teacher transfer issues and make recommendations by Dec. 15.
- Adjustments to the district's bereavement leave and leave-of-absence policies.
- An agreement to pay boys and girls basketball coaches the same stipend, retroactive to the 1990-91 school year.