Dayton schools, teachers agree on raises

Most Ohio school districts pay teachers according to a locally negotiated salary chart that indicates “step raises” based on years of service and levels of education. For example, based on Dayton Public Schools’ chart last year, a seventh-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree was due a $1,597 raise, to at least $42,893, and a 10th-year teacher with a master’s was due a $1,836 bump to at least $52,550.

The new deal is a trade-off, providing $1,000 to $1,100 raises each year – lower than many teachers would have received under the existing “step raise” structure – but those raises will apply to all teachers, some of whom would not have been eligible for a step raise in one or more of those three years.

“What we’ve done is raised the salary schedule itself,” said Dayton teachers union President David Romick. “There’s a recognition on the part of the district and us, that our salary schedule lags behind both in Montgomery County and when compared to the other urban districts statewide.”

A Dayton Daily News review showed that the old $52,550 slot for a 10th-year Dayton teacher with a master’s degree was $5,000 behind Northmont’s salary schedule, $7,400 behind Huber Heights and $8,600 behind Kettering. The new raises won’t bring Dayton level, but will make progress, according to the district.

“We congratulate the Dayton Education Association on their acceptance of an agreement through June 30, 2017, that affords us the ability to attract and retain highly qualified staff,” Dayton’s school board said in a prepared statement.

Dayton’s new deal freezes each teacher at the step they were on in 2013-14, but raises the entire salary schedule by $1,100 this school year, by another $1,100 in 2015-16, and by $1,000 in 2016-17.

Dayton teachers did not receive across-the-board raises for five years from 2008-09 through 2012-13, but individual teachers were eligible for step raises in those years. The new agreement follows on the heels of a school board vote in 2014 that gave raises to DPS administrators.

Romick said when the next contract is negotiated in 2017, his union will push for teachers to be placed on the correct step based on the true years they’ve worked, not losing credit for the frozen years.

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