Missoula teachers ratify contract with no increase in base pay

2011-08-27T06:45:00Z 2011-08-27T07:11:46Z Missoula teachers ratify contract with no increase in base payBy JAMIE KELLY of the Missoulian missoulian.com
August 27, 2011 6:45 am  • 

Missoula's teachers approved a contract late Friday afternoon negotiated while most were on summer break, one that gives no increase in their base pay.

The Missoula Education Association certified the new contract after counting ballots at MEA headquarters.

With 75 percent of teachers voting, the result was about 80 percent in favor of passage, said MEA president Melanie Charlson.

But the 20 percent who voted against the new contract is the highest percentage since the 1980s, she said.

"I think we're coming off a minimal increase from the year prior, and that's hard," Charlson said.

Last year, teachers accepted a one-half of 1 percent increase in pay. This year, it's zero.

Yet Charlson said she more or less expected the contract to pass.

"A lot of time has passed (since the contract was written) and it's been a lot of time for people to ask questions, and that's good," she said. "That's a long time to make an informed vote."

The agreement outlines a one-year contract that began on July 1. Besides "steps and lanes" increases based on education and years of experience, there is no increase in the base pay for teachers and other certified staff in MCPS. But the contract has the district contributing an extra $25 a month toward the health insurance premium for each employee - from $600 to $625.

The entire pay matrix is a spreadsheet that outlines 184 salaries, ranging from $31,879 to $66,501.

However, the teachers have also had to shoulder large increases in their insurance premiums over the last several years.

MCPS administrators had warned that it would be a difficult negotiating year. The loss of federal stimulus dollars and only slight increases in state funding didn't leave any wiggle room for a pay raise outside of cutting district programs - which would have cost teacher jobs.

Most other districts in the state offered very little, if any, increases in the base salary of teachers for the coming year as the economy struggles to recover.

Copyright 2015 missoulian.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Missoulian Civil Dialogue Policy

Civil Dialogue Policy for Commenting on Missoulian.com

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Comments can only be submitted by registered users. By posting comments on our site, you are agreeing to the following terms:

Commentary and photos submitted to the Missoulian (Missoulian.com) may be published or distributed in print, electronically or other forms. Opinions expressed in Missoulian.com's comments reflect the opinions of the author, and are not necessarily the opinions of the Missoulian or its parent company. See the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Our guidelines prohibit the solicitation of products or services, the impersonation of another site user, threatening or harassing postings and the use of vulgar, abusive, obscene or sexually oriented language, defamatory or illegal material. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other classification. It's fine to criticize ideas, but ad hominem attacks on other site users are prohibited. Users who violate those standards may lose their privileges on missoulian.com.

You may not post copyrighted material from another publication. (Link to it instead, using a headline or very brief excerpt.)

No short policy such as this can spell out all possible instances of material or behavior that we might deem to be a violation of our publishing standards, and we reserve the right to remove any material posted to the site.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Fred Allendorf's story

Fred Allendorf confronts his journals for the first time since they were rescued from the Mount Jumbo avala…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian reporter Kate Haake presents the latest news you need to know about today's headl…

Missoula County Spelling Bee 2015

Missoula County Spelling Bee 2015

Emma Peasley of Sussex School takes first place and Hans Skovlin takes second in the Missoul…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian digital director Emily Foster presents the latest news you need to know about tod…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian reporter Martin Kidston presents the latest news you need to know about today's h…

Chinese LV Breakup

Chinese LV Breakup

Video by Rick Heilman.

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian reporter Kate Haake presents the latest news you need to know about today's headl…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian digital director Emily Foster presents the latest news you need to know about tod…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian digital director Emily Foster presents the latest news you need to know about tod…

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

The 4:06 – trending topics and hot headlines

Missoulian digital director Emily Foster presents the latest news you need to know about tod…

Les Schwab

Deals & Offers

Search our events calendar