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The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

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KPS reaches deal with teachers union, avoiding potential conflict

Credit: Ender Ross

As the 2023-2024 school year began, teachers were faced with great uncertainty due to the disagreements regarding pay raises. Not granting teachers a pay raise meant that they would make the same amount of money as they made last year, without a raise. 

However, a tentative agreement between the district and the education association was reached August 31, giving teachers a 6.5% pay raise, even if it is short of the 12% they asked for

On top of the percentage pay increase, teachers receive a raise related to the number of years employed. So the start of the school year left some teachers at a breakpoint and missing out on raises of over $5 thousand a year. 

Jeffery Pickell for instance would face losing a portion of his $10 thousand raise if the contract did not get ratified. 

“In the week we had without a contract, I lost out on $600 dollars. That’s a whole PS5, said Pickell. “And what the district will do, is they will stretch out union bargaining until the end of time, so it costs you a month all told. One year, Mr. Krieder [former Loy Norrix librarian] lost more than six thousand dollars!” 

Heather Reid, the head of the teachers union, is part of a team assigned to negotiate with the district over the new contract. 

“It is my belief that this tentative agreement moves the district forward in its ability to attract and retain educators so that we may provide the best education possible to our students,” said Reid. 

Dr. Pickell, however, offers a different point of view as to the effectiveness of the new contract. Teachers are getting a 6.5% raise this year, which the economically observant of you will recognize does not match inflation. 

“I wanted to be holding protests earlier in the year during the summer, so we could get a contract earlier,” said Pickell. “So we can get 6.5% this year and 6.5% next year. The district has not given us what we are due, so we should go and take it!”

The tentative agreement outlines some basic pay increases and healthcare changes, as well as agreeing to the district calendar. The enrollment bonus, which depends on student attendance, has also been outlined. Having this bonus means that the more students that are enrolled in KPS, the more money the teachers will make. 

Behavior specialists, who were just recently added to the KEA, will be moved up in the 12 step schedule, which is the system by which their pay is determined. 

The KEA approved the tentative agreement and the KPS school board voted to accept the agreement. With the new agreement, teachers will be able to look forward to working with a little bit more security in their lives.

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Ender Ross
Ender Ross, Executive Web Editor
Hello! I am the executive web editor for Knight Life News, and I make stories about my community and my general vicinity. I also am struck with a terrible love for esports and videogames. Unfortunately, I think I am extremely funny, so go check out my articles on Muysenberg and Flat Earth.
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  • A

    Aidan ZajacOct 20, 2023 at 11:41 am

    nice article! i think this was a really important thing to cover, Ender

  • L

    Laura RossOct 12, 2023 at 2:19 pm

    Nice article. Good quotes.