COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Columbia Public School District and the Columbia Missouri National Education Association (teacher representation) have reached an agreement on increasing teacher salaries for the upcoming school year.
The agreement came nearly five hours after both parties met on Wednesday.
Teachers will see a $330 increase in their salary and teachers with doctorate degrees will see a $3,000 increase, a bonus that the CMNEA said teachers haven't seen in almost eight years.
"When school districts used to get a lot more money back in the day, they ( doctorate teachers) would also see a nice bonus," Kathy Steinhoff, CMNEA president, said. "It's been about seven to eight years since these teachers have seen this so they're really happy about it."
The current base teachers salary is $32,115, teachers earn the minimum salary of $35,500 if they have a bachelor's degree; the pay increases as the level of education increases.
Another negotiation that both parties made was reducing several of the salary schedule columns. Both parties agreed to remove column one and improving column seven (added some more funds).
Currently the district has eight columns based on the level of education a teacher has plus certain qualifications. The district and the teachers organization both want to eventually work their way to a model salary schedule which would only have three columns: one for a bachelor's degree, one for a master's degree and one for a doctorate or other advanced degree to encourage more teachers to pursue more education.
The increases would cost the district $1.1 million out of their $1.5 million budget for compensation among the district.
Steinhoff told ABC 17 News that although they are happy with the win a lot of work still needs to be done.
"Out of the top 20 schools, we rank 19th to 20th when it comes to teacher beginning salaries and ending salaries and Missouri is ranked 48th in the nation."
These negotiations come a year after both parties agreed upon a 5.77 percent average base salary increase last year.
Deputy Superintendent Dana Clippard said the increase would apply for more than 1,400 teachers at CPS.
The negotiations will be presented to the Columbia School Board at their May 8 board meeting.