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Teachers have new contract

Teachers in the Frontier School District have a new contract that guarantees them a 4.15 percent average increase in their salaries over five years, but it also boosts their employee health insurance contributions, and prescription and physician co-pays.

The salary increases kick in during the third year of the contract. During the first two years, there only are step raises. But in the third year, teachers will see a 1 percent raise, followed by a 1.25 percent raise in the fourth year and 1.5 percent in the fifth year. The salary increases are in addition to the annual step raises.

On the high end of the pay scale for 2012-13, a teacher with a master's degree on the 19th step of the pay scale would earn $87,240. An entry-level teacher with a master's on the first step would earn $41,000, while a starting teacher with a bachelor's degree would be paid $34,500.

Teachers had been working without a contract since their previous one expired last June. The School Board has ratified the new agreement.

District officials praised the Frontier Central Teachers Association for working out a new agreement covering the district's 454 teachers. The contract was ratified by the teachers union, with 86 percent "yes" votes.

Other provisions of the contract include assigning a sixth teaching period each day to focus on improving student academic achievement.

Some teachers would have a supervisory period, but it provides flexibility if a teacher is needed to teach a sixth class.

Teachers will see increases in their prescription and physician co-pays, saving the district an estimated $160,000 yearly throughout the life of the contract.

Employees' health insurance contributions will go up to 10 percent during the course of the agreement.

The contract also freezes all coaching and extracurricular stipends for the duration of the five years. Also included is a major modification to the previous contract, which granted all retirees a longevity incentive. The new contract now has a retirement incentive, which is only good when teachers first become eligible.

email: krobinson@buffnews.com