Columbia School Board approves Collective Bargaining Agreement

Columbia School Board meets Monday night

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Columbia Public School's Board of Education approved a collective bargaining agreement with the teachers that reinstates a pay freeze from about five years ago.

The measure passed with a unanimous vote.

Board members spoke highly about the agreement because it would make up for a lost step in the salary schedule from the 2008-2009 school year.

Superintendent Chris Belcher also said the teachers overwhelmingly approved the proposal with a 90% vote.

The board's vote of "yes" means the full-time teachers will get an average of $850 more per year.

They will also get 25 minutes daily of duty-free lunches as well as a minimum of 250 minutes of instructional planning time per week.

The bargaining agreement will cost the district about $850,000 to restore the lost step.

It starts this July 1 and ends June 30, 2017.

School Board President Christine King said she liked the proposal because it shows the board's faith in the teachers.

"It's a multi-year contract and I think that shows we have faith in our staff," King said. "And restoring the lost step will help improve teacher morale."

One teacher did stand up before the final vote and say she wished there were more workplace conditions met as well as a more open process involving the teachers.

The board also approved an increase in school lunch prices.

Kids' lunches will increase by $.10 and adult lunches will raise by $.15.

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