Teachers, Lawrence school district reach tentative agreement on pay increase; plan calls for $825 across-the-board increase

photo by: Journal-World

Lawrence Public Schools district offices pictured in April 2021.

Negotiators for Lawrence public school teachers and the school district have reached a preliminary deal to provide pay raises to teachers and other certified staff members, the two sides announced Tuesday evening.

All teachers and certified staff members will receive an $825 pay increase for the next school year, if the contract ultimately is approved by both the school board and by the union membership. Teachers and other certified staff who attain additional levels of education will also receive additional pay.

Under the union’s current salary schedule, someone with a bachelor’s degree receives a base salary of $41,758 per year, someone with a master’s degree a base salary of $44,408 per year, and someone with a doctorate a base salary of $51,008 per year. The salary schedule includes incremental pay levels between those three levels of education, based on semester hours earned toward a higher degree, as well as pay increases for additional years of service.

The statement said the two sides have tentatively agreed to provide partial funding for additional “horizontal” pay increases that employees are eligible for due to continued education. The tentative agreement does not provide funding for any vertical movement in the pay scale, which are pay increases due to additional years of service.

Union representatives did not release a dollar total that the district will need to come up with to fund the tentative agreement. Previously the district had offered a total of $862,616 for teacher raises for the next school year. That amounted to about a 1.8% increase in the overall certified salary pool.

The Lawrence Education Association — the union that represents teachers and other certified staff — asked for $1.34 million for raises, which would have been a 2.65% increase to the overall salary pool.

Union representatives said they will provide more details on the tentative agreement in the near future. All teachers and certified staff members will be asked to vote on the new contract in the coming weeks. Voting will be done through district email accounts, according to the statement.

— Reporter Rochelle Valverde contributed to this report.


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