CPI increase of $47 on base wages could grow with inaugural effectiveness and compensation plan
The Cedar Grove-Belgium School District and its teachers union last month came to a quick agreement on a contract for next year.
Teachers will receive an across-the-board base wage increase of .12%, the Consumer Price Index increase for 2015. That equates to a $47 raise.
Under the state’s Act 10 legislation, CPI is the maximum allowable increase to base wages that public school districts may provide.
Last year’s CPI was the lowest since 2009, when it decreased by 0.4%. Since then, CPI has ranged from 1.5% to 3.2%.
The School Board and the 40-member Cedar Grove-Belgium Education Association both unanimously approved the contract. Negotiations took a few minutes as each entity provided the same proposal.
“Even if the district wanted to offer above and beyond that, they couldn’t. That’s just kind of a silly law that should be changed,” Scott Tipple, high school math teacher and chief negotiator for the Cedar Grove-Belgium Education Association, said.
Teachers may receive a larger raise through the district’s teacher effectiveness and compensation plan.
Based on a 24-point scoring model, teachers could receive increases of zero, $900, $1,500 or $2,100. The district’s goal is for teachers to perform at a proficient level, which equates to a $900 raise.
Principals are the primary evaluators on six categories: teacher practice, team orientated, communication/interpersonal relationships, decision making/judgment, accountability/initiative and leadership.
Six performance levels have been established, with a salary range for each. First-year teachers start at the initial level. Salaries at $61,800 and above require a master’s degree.
“At least it’s some way that the newer teachers can start moving along rather than just the CPI raise,” Tipple said.