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Youngstown school teachers pass new contract

Published: Tue, December 17, 2013 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Denise Dick



City schoolteachers approved a new contract with the district “by a large margin,” according to a union spokeswoman.

“They’re happy that it’s settled,” said Paula Valentini, a spokeswoman for the Youngstown Education Association, the 525-member union representing the city district’s teachers, after the vote Monday night.

Superintendent Connie Hathorn was pleased the teachers approved the tentative agreement.

“I appreciate the teachers working with us to get this done,” he said.

The school board is expected to vote today on the proposal.

“I’m glad it’s over, and now we can concentrate on academics,” Hathorn said.

Neither side divulged the contents of the three-year agreement, but it’s said to include a 2 percent pay increase each year and require 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 percent 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.

Teachers have been working without a contract since June 30, when the previous pact expired.

Last August, the union authorized its negotiating team to issue a 10-day intent-to-strike notice.

Later that month, 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.

Negotiating teams for both sides, along with a federal mediator, have met periodically since then.


1southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

That starting salary is ridiculous....who could afford to work on such a low wage?

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2DontBanThisDrone(1046 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

The base work year for a teacher is 183 days, and that base day is 7 hours. That's 1281 hours/yr.

$29,885/1,281 = $23.33/hr.

In the proverbial private-sector, the annual salary is based on 2080 hours. Therefore, 2080*$23.33 = $48,526/yr.

Depending on the field, that's probably about the starting salary of many first year college grads, maybe a little on the generous side. There's countless fields that pay a lot less than that.

Just throwing another perspective out there, that's all.


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3patrickhm(27 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

On the other end of the pay spectrum, a teacher would have to put in 24 years of service plus return to school at some point and attain his/her PhD just to crack $60,00. Is it any wonder why teachers are leaving the profession in droves. Sad, very sad!

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4kurtw(1822 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Why don't we just pay teachers according to their actual job performance- the quality of the outcome? Where do American students- products of the worlds most highly funded educational system- rank worldwide in terms of actual scholastic achievement?

We know the answer to that, pretty low, and, granted, teachers are not entirely to blame- the quality of the home is a big factor. Single mothers on welfare are not known for raising kids who turn out to be Merit Scholars, but, the lax, liberal-based atmosphere in public schools only serves to make a bad situation worse. Kids from disorganized families need, above all, strict discipline, in order to turn their lives around- and they're not getting that in public schools (for proof, take the same kids and put them in a strictly run Catholic school run by butt-kicking, no-nonsense Nuns and notice the difference- the kid thrive on it- they want- and need- strong discipline and structure above all.)

For these reasons, the failure of Public Education to educate the young (all Public Schools currently do is indoctrinate the next generation of Liberals- and card carrying Democrats)- I stopped voting for school levies a long time ago- In my view, Public schools and teachers have Too Much Money- that's part of their problem- too much money and not enough discipline and courage to do the right thing for their students- teaching them the basic subjects, English, Math, Science that will give them a fighting chance in Life- instead of stuffing their own pockets, looking out for their own welfare, and teaching Fad BS courses like Multi-Culturalism 101 (and a perversion of American History that makes our country resemble an "Evil Empire").

P.S. You know someone on this thread compared teachers to engineers and said they should be compensated accordingly. Well, how much would you pay an engineer that built bridges so shoddy that anytime any vehicle heavier than a VW went over it, it collapsed. Or skyscrapers that bent double if a strong wind came along. Well, if our public school teachers actually are "engineers of the mind"- fine, judge them by their performance- a large percentage of kids leaving High School- needing remedial English and Math in College, for instance,- and pay them accordingly based on that fact (and give them more if the educational outcome improves- that's how real Engineers are paid- by results.)

Also, I got a kick out of the Teachers Union in Youngstown, magnanimously agreeing to pay up to 10 per cent- think of that, a whole ten per cent!- toward the care and maintenance of their own bodies (where before they paid almost nothing) and the other "concessions" they say they made.
This in a School District chronically in "Fiscal Emergency"- in other words, FLAT BROKE.

If Traficant were around, he might say: "Beam Me Up"!

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