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Teachers to get 1 percent boost, bonus

By Staff | Oct 20, 2010

Lee County teachers will get a 1 percent salary increase and bonus, along with planning periods for middle and high school teachers and the implementation of year long music and art classes for elementary school, according to the terms of a new two-year contract approved by the school board Tuesday.
Mark Castellano, president of the Teachers Association of Lee County said he is thrilled the school board approved the contract. He said the association brought forth three major issues in March and they are all pleased that they were able to resolve all of them satisfactorily.
He said the tentative agreement was sent out to teachers last week to obtain their votes. The results came back with 93.5 percent of teachers in favor of the two-year contract and 6.5 percent against it.
Castellano said he is proud of the Interest Bargaining process they used because it allowed the teachers to do things in a collaborative way that provided both sides with the opportunity to address concerns in an open manner.
He said the overall attitude of the teachers is positive because they are happy to be getting some type of raise, have a 40-minute planning period for middle and high schools, along with having art and music full time in the elementary schools.
Board Member Jeanne Dozier said she would have liked to see the teachers receive a larger pay raise because she knows that teachers in Lee County are not paid adequately.
Board Member Jane Kuckel said this year the district can give the teachers a raise, but the sad news “is it isn’t enough.”
“They work very hard and are very deserving of all this and more,” she said.
Interim Superintendent Dr. Larry Tihen said it was a remarkable agreement and everyone who worked on it did an exceptional job.