Gary Community School Corporation finalizes two-year teacher contract
Teachers at the Gary Community School Corporation will be getting a pay raise, but not right away. District Manager Dr. Michael Raisor and Gary Teachers Union President GlenEva Dunham signed a two-year teacher contract Tuesday.
It gives teachers a $7,000 stipend in January, followed by another $5,000 stipend next October. An increase to the actual base salary won't come until the 2024-2025 school year, when qualifying teachers will get a two-percent raise, with a starting salary for new teachers of $50,883.68. Raises and stipends are also planned for paraprofessionals.
Raisor said the negotiations were fruitful and collaborative. "Our teachers matter, and we want them to see that. And hopefully, this shows them that we value them and the service that they provide to the children of Gary," Raisor said.
Dunham said she enjoyed the negotiations but not some of the state's meeting requirements. "They mandate those three meetings, which I think is absolutely absurd, because no other body of unions have to go to the public and say, 'We started negotiating,' 'We finished negotiating,' 'This is how much we received.' Nobody else has to do that," Dunham said.
The collective bargaining agreement also includes a retirement incentive for teachers over 60 years of age who've been with the district for at least 10 years. The first 10 qualifying teachers who agree to retire at the end of this school year will get a $22,000 incentive, while another ten would get $18,000.
Raisor said it'll allow the school corporation — which the state still considers to be in "distressed" status — to see long-term cost savings, "and may allow the school corporation to reorganize the teaching staff in a manner that could minimize or possibly even avoid a reduction in force."