Lawrence School Board approves new three-year contract for teachers

Teachers in the Lawrence Public Schools have a new three-year contract retroactive to July 1 of this year that includes salary increase of just under three-percent per year.

As part of the agreement that was approved by the school board Sept. 13 and ratified by the teachers’ union this month, teachers will receive a salary increase of 2.75 percent for this academic year,  2.75 percent for the 2018-19 academic year,  and 2.80 for the 2019-20 academic year. Hourly pay rates, extra duty pay rates, and stipends for other teacher activities will also increase as part of the deal. The number of faculty meetings required per month has also been reduced and some changes were made to health insurance coverage, school officials said.

“The board and the LTEA worked collaboratively to reach an agreement that is fair to our teachers and the public and benefits our entire community,” stated Kevin Van Hise, president of the school board and chair of the board’s negotiations committee.

A state-appointed mediator met with representatives from the negotiating teams for the board of education and the union, the Lawrence Township Education Association, in June after the two sides failed to reach an agreement. A tentative agreement was reached on June 12, but the union did not ratify the agreement until this month.

The union  represents teachers, child study team members, custodians, buildings and grounds staff, secretaries, nurses, and guidance counselors.