By Kalea Hall
Poland schoolteachers will get raises after a two-year pay freeze, thanks to a new contract with the board of education.
The board approved the new three-year pact for the 130-member Poland Education Association 4-1 at a special meeting Tuesday. It is retroactive to last August when the previous contract expired.
Teachers will receive a base raise of 0.5-percent for half of this first year, then 0.75 percent the second year and 0.5 percent the third year, Superintendent David Janofa said.
“The board thinks this is a fair contract and allows our constituents to understand that we are thinking of the responsibility of our taxpayers,” the superintendent said.
Teachers in their 14-16th, 18th, 19th, 20th, or 21st-26th years of employment in the district and any year over the 28th will receive a stipend to compensate for their step increases having been frozen. About 40 teachers are included in that group.
Under the new pact, teachers also will have to pay 10 percent of their health care costs — a 5 percent increase.
Both sides made some concessions in language, in the areas of definition of family, supplemental hiring and teacher evaluation, Janofa said.
“We were able to able to agree on the new teacher evaluation system,” he noted.
Board member Robert Shovlin cast the lone no vote. Janofa said Shovlin didn’t think it was fair to give a stipend to only some of the teachers, Janofa said.
Neither Shovlin nor Poland Education Association President Ron Rowe returned The Vindicator’s calls for comment late Tuesday.