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One year later, teachers officially have a contract

Teachers in the Farmington School District will get a 2.15 percent raise in each year of a new contract approved Monday by the Farmington School Board.

Human resources director MaryAnn Thomas said the total package including benefits is a 7.6 percent increase over the two years of the deal. It will cost the district an additional $1.5 million in its first year and $1.6 million in its second year.

The deal is retroactive to July 1, 2015, when the last contract expired.

“It’s a contract we are happy to bring forward to you,” Thomas said Monday.

Farmington’s teachers approved the deal in a June 6 vote.

Thomas said in presenting the contract that it fell within the district’s parameters for a deal with teachers, but board member Laura Beem clarified that the district changed those parameters during a negotiation process that stretched out more than a year.

“We did go higher than we wanted to,” Beem said.

Beem said negotiators are still comfortable the contract will work within the district’s budget, though Thomas said the district will have to make some cuts in the 2017-18 school year and more in 2018-19. She did not specify an amount but said the district will start working soon to determine where cuts will have the smallest impact.

“The sooner we make any sort of reduction, the bigger impact that has for us down the road,” she said.

Under the new contract, a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree will make $38,286, up from $37,480. Salaries go up with each year of experience, and with additional schooling. Each step on that salary schedule saw a similar increase.

The second year of the contract raises that first-year salary for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree to $39,109.

Teachers said throughout the negotiation process that they wanted salaries that are competitive with what teachers in other districts are paid. A first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District is paid $38,984. Salaries go up more quickly in that district, though. A second-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree is paid $40,615 in District 196 compared to $39,119 in Farmington. Year three is $41,217 in District 196 and $40,071 in Farmington.

Beyond 13 years, Farmington teachers will receive an additional $450 for every year of experience.

Board member Melissa Sauser cast the only vote against the new contract. She did not return a call Tuesday seeking comment.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

(651) 460-6606
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