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Dayton school board approves contract extension, raises for teachers

UPDATE @ 4:40 P.M.

Dayton’s school board on Tuesday unanimously approved a one-year contract extension with its teachers union through June 2020, and agreed to reinstate some of the pay raises that were frozen earlier this decade. 

The deal comes just nine months after tense negotiations nearly led to a teachers strike at the start of the school year. The relationship between the union and the district has publicly been more upbeat in recent months, since Elizabeth Lolli replaced Rhonda Corr as superintendent, and newly elected school board members took office in January. 

 “This is a great example, sending (teachers) home into the summer with this news, so they’re not out job hunting and worrying about what the next school year is going to bring,” teachers union President David Romick said. “This is a big signal that the district is committed to them and committed to education and what’s best for kids, which is what we all want.”

INITIAL REPORT

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Dayton’s school board will vote today on a one-year contract extension with the teachers union — a deal that would reinstate some of the pay raises that were frozen earlier this decade.

If approved, the deal would address one of the major complaints of the 1,000 teachers, counselors, nurses and others that the Dayton Education Association represents, just nine months after tense negotiations nearly led to a teachers strike.

LAST YEAR: Dayton schools “in crisis” over near-teacher strike

The raises in question are “step raises,” which are given based on years of experience. In Dayton’s contract, teachers are supposed to receive a step raise in 14 of the first 15 years of employment, with the increases ranging from 2.5 to 5.5 percent, depending on the year. Teachers beyond 15 years of experience don’t receive those raises.

For four years, from 2013-14 through 2016-17, those step raises were frozen for Dayton teachers union members, although all members did receive a flat annual increase that was less than most standard step raises.

2015 STORY: Teachers, DPS agree on compromise on raises

The deal to be voted on today would reinstate up to two step raises for each teacher who was affected by the freeze in those years.

The existing contract was supposed to expire at the end of the 2018-19 school year, but the agreement to be voted on today would extend the deal through 2019-20, giving all teachers union members a 3 percent raise for that year.

Teachers in Dayton Public Schools make thousands less than the state median teacher salary, and lag even farther behind many local suburban districts. DPS leaders have said that makes it harder to recruit high-quality teachers get them to stay long-term.

RELATED: Compare teacher salaries in Dayton region, Ohio

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