The Lawrence school district moved closer to an agreement on some issues with its teachers union Wednesday, but remained in different places on the issue of salary.
Teachers are paid based on a pay schedule that provides more money both for teachers with more education and for teachers with more years of service, up to a maximum amount.
Through the course of negotiations Wednesday, the teachers came down from a previous offer of a $3,250 raise for teachers on every step of the pay scale to an offer of a $2,250 raise.
The district’s negotiating team had previously offered to contribute an additional $1.5 million to salaries for teachers, resulting in a permanent increase of $750 to all teachers, and allowed teachers to move up a year on the district’s pay schedule.
The district presented a modified proposal Wednesday that still would have cost $1.5 million; it would have increased the raise to $1,200 for teachers, but would have not allowed teachers to jump to the next level on the pay scale for their years of service.
Kyle Hayden, the district’s chief operations officer, said the district’s new proposal would result in a more equitable distribution of pay to all the teachers on the salary schedule.
The teachers union negotiators balked at not allowing teachers to move on the pay scale based on their years of service.
“We’re closer than we were a week ago, but we’re still far apart on the issue of salary,” said David Reber, a Free State High School science teacher and the teachers’ lead negotiator.
The teachers and the district did move closer to an agreement on several other issues, including the contributions that the district would pay each month toward the medical, dental and vision insurance package. The old contract had the district contributing just over $378. The teachers had originally proposed Wednesday that the district pay $450, but came down to $410. The district offered to pay just over $393.
Negotiations will resume at 5:30 p.m. June 13.