New teacher contract approved

A new teachers' contract was approved Thursday night at the DuBois Area School Board meeting. The teachers also ratified the contract earlier in the day. 

DuBOIS — After 574 days, the teachers in the DuBois Area School District have a new five-year contract, having been approved by both the teachers’ union and the board Thursday.

The DuBois Area Education Association, the teachers’ union, ratified the new contract “overwhelmingly,” said union President and Chief Negotiator Dawna Vanderpool.

Following a short executive session at Thursday night’s meeting, the board approved the contract in an 8-1 vote. Director Lee Mitchell voted no. Ben Haugh, David Schwab, Patty Fish, Larry Salone, Mark Gilga, Randy Curley, Sam Armagost and Jeff Madinger. The contract is effective July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2021.

Mitchell said the board just received the final version of the contract Thursday night said it was too fast that it was already being voted on.

Concerned earlier about voting without discussing too much. Final version of the contract and here we are voting on that. I think this was too fast.

“It was not quite unanimously but overwhelmingly,” said Vanderpool, noting union membership is at 286.

The contract includes a 2.8 raise for the teachers the first two years and 2.75 percent increases for each of the remaining three years, Vanderpool said.

“We are trying to make the salary schedule more workable so there were a couple step freezes which is not a complete wage freeze,” Vanderpool said. Health care remained the same as the previous contract.

“It was a very long process through lots of extraordinary events but in the end I think we have something that is workable for the future to help keep our district competitive,” Vanderpool said. “I’m satisfied. In no negotiations do both parties get everything they want.”

Board Solicitor Carl Beard and President Fish thanked the board’s negotiation committee including Salone, Mitchell and Haugh for their hard work.

“Larry was relentless on getting this thing done, he preserved,” Beard said. “I want to extend a special thanks to Larry. If not for him, I’m not sure this thing would have gotten done.”

Superintendent Luke Lansberry expressed appreciation to the board for all of their work on getting a new contract.

“I also want to thank the faculty for their patience and their understanding,” Lansberry said.

Additional details of the contract will be made available once the contract is signed by both parties, said Beard.

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