By Denise Dick
The city school district and the union representing its teachers have reached a tentative agreement.
The district issued a news release Friday, and no details would be released until ratification by both parties.
The teachers’ union, the Youngstown Education Association, has been working without a contract since June 30, and last August, the union authorized its negotiating team to issue a 10-day intent-to-strike notice.
Later that same month, though, after a marathon bargaining session with the district, the teachers agreed to work at least through Sept. 30 under terms of their old contract. The union implemented a work-to-rule status, asking members to do nothing extra but to work just the contracted hours.
Both sides, along with a federal mediator, have met periodically in the intervening months.
Although the details weren’t divulged by the parties, the three-year pact reportedly calls for 2 percent pay increases each year as well as requiring teachers to pay a 10 percent health insurance contribution. That percentage will be capped at about $2,000 — something that had been an issue in negotiations. Teachers now pay a percentage of salary toward their health-care premiums: 1.57 per- cent for family plans and 0.785 percent for the single plan. Beginning teachers earn $29,885, while senior teachers, or those with 24 years of service and a doctorate, earn about $66,000 annually. The average teacher salary is $53,355.
The tentative agreement also adds a new step for senior teachers at the top of the pay scale.
The last three-year contract provided 1 percent pay increases each year. That followed seven years of freezes on base pay.
The YEA is expected to vote on the agreement Dec. 16, with the school board expected to vote the following day.