An agreement between the Pelican Rapids teachers and the school board was approved last week.  

The two year contract retroactively covers the 2019-20 school year, and the second year of the contract covers 2020-21. 

Under terms of the first year of the contract:

• a first year teacher with a four year degree would earn starting base salary of $43,935.

• A veteran teacher, with 11 or more years of experience—but no advanced credits or degrees­–would top out at $60,210

• On the top end of the schedule, a teacher with 11 or more years of experience; a Masters Degree, plus 30 additional credits, would earn $75,200.

In 2020-2021, teachers at all points on the salary schedule will earn about a $1,000 annual raise.  

• A first year teacher will increase to $44,926 next year. 

• A teacher at the top end of the scale, with Masters plus 30 credits and 11 or or more years of experience, will earn $76,191. 

The school board agreed with the teachers on a 1.5 percent  increase in the salary schedule equating $57,511 budget increase for this school year and 1.59 percent  increase equating to $61,876 added to the budget in 2020-21, reported Superintendent Ed Richardson. 

In exchange, the teachers agreed to waive 1 percent of the 2 percent  of state funding required by Minnesota to be set aside for Professional Development, he added.

This adds just over $62,000 per year toward the Fund Balance.

Due to some scheduling issues and other matters beyond our control, teacher contract negotiations were longer than either party would have liked, noted Superintendent Richardson.  

“Through patience, understanding, and collaboration, while neither side came away with exactly what was wanted both sides came out with something. I am grateful for the work of the district negotiations team and for the willingness of the teacher’s negotiation team to work with us. There was a clear understanding that as a district our budget is very tight and, especially after the trust placed in us by the community with the passing of the levy referendum,  we need to be vigilant, grow our fund balance, and do our best to maintain staffing levels and programs. This settlement allows us to accomplish each of our goals.

 The school board agreed with the teachers on a 1.5% increase in the salary schedule equating $57,511 budget increase for this school year and 1.59% increase equating to $61,876 added to the budget in 2020-21. 

In exchange, the teachers agreed to waive 1% of the 2% of state funding required by Minnesota to be set aside for Professional Development. This adds just over $62,000 per year toward our Fund Balance and allowed space in the budget to offer make an offer to our teaching staff. 

The district also agreed to help offset an increase to health insurance over the two-year contract.  When all is said and done, this settlement costs the General Fund for $27,000 in 2019-2020, and $29,000 in 2020-2021.”