COLUMBUS – Members of the Columbus Public Schools board gave a tentative thumb’s up Monday evening to a two-year agreement that will increase teacher pay and benefit packages by slightly more than 4 percent.

The tentative agreement was negotiated between the board and the Columbus Education Association in mid-February. The CEA has already voted to approve the deal, while the board is expected to take a vote on the pact on March 19.

“The district has a good working relationship with the CEA,” said Dave Melick, executive director of operations and human relations for the district.

The deal calls for a 4.07 percent package increase for 308 teachers over the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years, which is expected to bump up district spending by an estimated $901,000.

The district’s teacher base salary will rise by $720 in 2018-19 to $37,200 and another $500 to $37,700 for the second year of the pact.

The contract includes reopening language if state aid to education increases or decreases by more than 10 percent in 2019-20, Melick said.

The pay and benefit packages include salaries, Social Security and Medicare, state retirement, health and dental, long-term disability and life insurance.

The board also tweaked the contract’s personal leave provision, increasing it from two to three days a year, and removing a provision to carry over unused personal leave after this year.

The board also gave a tentative nod to a 4 percent raise in pay and benefits for about 320 support staffers on Monday. The classified staff deal is for one year.

Classified staff include clerical and food service employees, custodians, drivers, maintenance workers and paraeducators.

The anticipated expense boost for classified staffers will be $360,000 for the coming school year.

Meanwhile, Superintendent Troy Loeffelholz is currently working on the salary and benefit packages for 18 administrators,

Administrative staff includes executive directors, principals, assistant principals and activities administrators.

CPS uses an array of 10 to 12 similar-sized school districts for salary and benefit comparability during negotiations.

Melick predicted the district would rank fourth or fifth highest among the dozen or so comparable districts this year.



Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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