By: Madisyn Zipper
Teachers breathe a sigh of relief after being given a three percent raise on this year’s contract
Last week, the teacher’s association ratified a contract that will give NA-FC teachers a three percent raise this school year.
“Teachers went four years without a raise,” bargaining team member Mr. Steve Bonifer said. “Things are heading in the right direction.”
Beginning teachers next year will start out making just over $40k, as opposed to the $34,662 they had been making, according to Mr. Bonifer.
“This will enable the district to be more competitive in recruiting incoming teachers,” Mr. Bonifer said.
This raise also affects students and the overall community.
“Just knowing that my teachers are on their way to getting paid what they deserve will benefit me in the classroom,” freshman Marley Wells said. “I believe whole-heartedly that teachers deserve higher wages, it’s obviously not an easy job. What they’re doing is so important; they’re educating the future generations of this country.”
The decision to raise wages was in the best interest of the whole community, including teachers, students, and administrators.
“We have teachers who have been moving to other school districts in Southern Indiana or Louisville who pay more in most situations,” Mr. Bonifer said. “It is not good to have a teacher come to our system where we will invest time and money in training them, just to have them leave.”
According to Mr. Bonifer, getting paid is the best incentive, especially for new educators with growing families.
“There shouldn’t be such a wide margin between what administrators are paid and what teachers are paid,” Wells said. “Teachers are the ones in the classroom doing the ‘dirty work’. They’re the ones who really represent the education system in our communities.”
Though the pay increase is a big step in the grueling fight for educational justice, the association has a long way to go.
“The teachers association will continue to ask for better wages and wage related benefits, such as better health insurance and retirement benefits,” Mr. Bonifer said. “Health costs have become a huge factor in contract negotiations as costs are always rising.”