After nearly two years of negotiations, the teachers union and Shorewood School District have reached agreement on a new contract.
The two-year deal, which covers the 2009-10 school year and this year, expires on June 30. It calls for an average annual increase of 3.13 percent in total compensation. Teachers will receive the increases retroactive to July 2010.
The agreement was ratified Monday night by members of the Shorewood Education Association and approved Tuesday by the School Board.
Under the new contract, there is an average salary increase of 1.8 percent each year with the salary for an entry-level teacher rises from $32,506 to $37,350, while a teacher at the top of the school will earn $76,546, compared to $74,319 under the old agreement.
Under new contract, retirees will receive only 61 months of health care benefits, compared to 96 months under the old deal.
Health care benefits did not change significantly for teachers, although they will have to pay more in co-pay for prescriptions and office visits.
Cash in lieu of health benefits were decreased from $8,200 to $6,000.
“This voluntary agreement completes 20 months of discussions between district and SEA representatives,” School Board President Paul Zovic said.
Zovic called the deal fair and said the concessions in health insurance will help reduce the district's operating costs.
"There were some significant concessions made by teachers... it was fair, it's good for the teachers, it's good for the district," Zovic said.
Unlike some Wisconsin districts, however, McCann said Shorewood did not rush to settle the contract before Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill becomes law. That bill would take away most collective bargaining rights from public employees.
"We were very close prior to this (budget repair bill) happening," McCann said. "It just takes us some time to do the negotiations, there was a lot of back and forth."
In fact, since the new contract will expire on June 30, the next agreement will be subject to whatever new law is passed.
The School Board on Tuesday also renewed McCann's contract through the 2012-13 school years in a deal that includes no raise or additional benefits.
His annual salary will remain at $152,250.
The board also approved administrators' contracts through 2012-13. The list includes Atwater Principal Tim Kenney, high school Assistant Principal Mark Harris, Athlectics Director Bill Haurey, Lake Bluff Principal Kirk Juffer, Recreation Department Director Deb Stolz, intermediate school Principal Anthony Strancke and Business Director Mark Boehlke.
Wages and compensation will be determined after performance evaluations for those administrators are conducted in August, McCann said.