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Teachers in the Nebo School District can relax this summer.

Unlike last year, when negotiations between the district and its teachers weren't settled until October, the 1994-95 contract was settled in May and passed at Wednesday night's school board meeting.Base pay, which was $18,210 last year, will rise 4.1 percent to $18,957 beginning July 1. Some teachers will see the increase immediately because of year-round school, said Phil Bird, director of personnel. The rest will see it when they come back to work in mid-August, he said.

"I'm pleased with how (negotiations) went," said Dane Allred, who negotiated the contract as president of the Nebo Educational Association.

Base pay was actually raised 4.60 percent, because the contract contains a 0.5 percent insurance deduction, Allred said. Teachers were responsible for the 0.5 percent last year, but the district will assume those costs this year.

The teachers' pay scale is divided into steps and lanes; steps are determined by years worked, while lanes are determined by education. The district agreed to pay 1.44 percent more for step increases and an estimated 0.35 percent for lane changes, Bird said.

The district is also footing a 0.25 percent increase to study preparation time for elementary school teachers. Classes could be restructured to allow teachers a half-hour preparation break during the day.

The total package represents a 6.64 percent increase over last year's contract.

Along with that is a new method of allowing teachers to further their education.

"I'm really excited about the half-year sabbaticals," Allred said.

After seven years of service, a teacher is allowed a sabbatical by working half the year, then taking half a year off at full pay. This allows people to further their educations, Allred said. The last contract, which gave certified employees a full-year sabbatical but at half pay, was too steep a pay cut for many teachers, he said.