Contract negotiations continue between the Lawrence school district and its teachers. The district presented its second package proposal on Wednesday night.
Major issues continue to be fringe benefits, the salary schedule and the language on articles relating to the work year and the duty day.
While the district remained steady on its proposal of a zero percent increase in fringe benefits, the latest package includes $140,000 to pay teachers moving horizontally on the salary schedule. This means teachers with more college credits who applied to move across the scale will be able to.
The district also added another $320,000 to the proposal, which would be spread out over all certified, licensed staff. Each full-time staff member would receive a lump sum of $350.
“Our proposal was $460,000, which is based on last year’s salary only to certified staff was a little bit over a 1 percent increase,” said Frank Harwood, the district’s chief negotiator and chief operations officer. “We recognize with horizontal movement that people went out and spent their money to get more (college) hours, which we encourage them to do.”
However, the teachers are worried about the lump sum because it’s not included in the salary scale and teachers moving up the experience ladder will fall behind.
“People will never recoup that particular bit of movement,” said Lois Orth-Lopes, the teacher’s chief negotiator. “Over time, that will always be reflected in whatever pay they have.”
Other items of discussion include the duty day and the work year. The district’s second proposal included a new item about the duty day that reflected the school board’s goal of looking at school configuration. The work-year article in the proposal includes some mandatory days in the summer.
The teachers’ negotiators will now prepare a counter proposal for the next meeting, which is scheduled to be Sept. 25.