Edmonds School District sets standard with teacher salaries

Union and District formally ratify agreement
By Brian Soergel | Aug 30, 2018

With an infusion of funds from the McCleary school-funding decision, public school teachers’ unions across the state have rallied their bases and hit the bargaining tables with their respective school districts in an all-out attempt to increase teacher salaries.

Many have mentioned the Edmonds School District as the gold standard.

It was earlier this month that the Edmonds Education Association and the Edmonds School District reached a tentative deal on a new teachers’ salary contract. On Tuesday, Aug. 28, it was ratified unanimously during the union’s annual membership meeting ahead of the first day of school Wednesday, Sept. 5.

Starting pay for first-year teachers with a bachelor’s degree and no experience is $62,688. Top pay for teachers with a master’s degree and at least 14 years of experience and 90 additional credits will cap at $114,272.

The new salary schedule provides an average 18.3 percent increase for teachers, librarians, counselors, psychologists, nurses, speech-language pathologists, occupation/physical therapists and other certificated staff.

“With the news out about our salary settlement, more educators are looking at Edmonds,” said Edmonds Education Association President Andi Nofziger-Meadows. “Given that there is a statewide teacher shortage, both EEA and the District wanted to make Edmonds an attractive district for both new and veteran educators. We’ve succeeded.”

Other districts have made big gains.

In the Mukilteo School District, Mukilteo Education Association President Dana Wiebe reports that a ratified contract would set the maximum salary for teachers with 12 or more years of experience and a master’s degree at over $112,000, up from roughly $99,000, and beginning teachers would earn just over $58,000 per year, an increase of nearly $7,000.

And, according to the Washington Education Association, Shoreline School District teachers will see a whopping 24 percent increase in pay. The minimum would be $62,088, and the top salary would eclipse Edmonds’ at $120,234.

Nofziger-Meadows said that pay for educators in Washington state has lagged.

“During the years that the state was flush with revenue, it was not invested in public education or educators’ salaries,” she said.

“We’ve lost a lot of great people to professions that pay more. As a result of the state Supreme Court order and the Legislative budget that approved $2 billion to improve educator pay this school year, every school district now has the resources to pay the kinds of salaries needed to attract and keep great teachers and support staff for our kids.

“Because EEA and the District were able to come to an agreement that invests the new salary money where it was intended, our new salary schedule is a win for the students, families,and educators in the Edmonds School District.”

The Edmonds schools union and District are working under a three-year contract ratified by the union Aug. 29, 2017, and the district the next day.

That contract focused mostly on student benefits, according to Nofziger-Meadows. It did, however, give certified employees – teachers and administrators – a 2.3 percent cost-of-living increase from the state and an additional $40 per month toward insurance premiums.

“All the provisions that we bargained last year remain in effect unless we bargained a change, as the salary schedule was simply a re-opener for our current contract, which expires in August 2020,” Nofziger-Meadows said.

“So it wasn’t a normal bargain with a lot of changes. Everything that was bargained has to do with salary and how it is paid out.”

 

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