Teachers in the Brighton Area Schools have ratified a new, 3-year contract with the Brighton Education Association, which represents about 325 teachers in the school district.
The ratification vote was conducted Tuesday morning following meetings held to review the terms of the agreement. In a proactive move, the Brighton Board of Education at its June 24th meeting unanimously ratified the contract in advance of the BEA vote.
In asking for comment on the new contract, Superintendent Greg Gray said, in his words, “We’re pleased the BEA approved the contract, which was based on the honesty and trust that we have established with all three bargaining groups. We’re excited about the new school year starting in late August and are looking forward to a great school year.”
The basic terms of the contract are a 1.7% salary increase on scale, which means according to their salary schedule, which is based on their years in the district. Teachers who complete a course in professional development get a 2.3% pay increase. The teachers will also get a $100 increase in longevity pay. The contract is based on 180 days of classroom instruction to comply with state law, whereas the previous contract was based on 175 teaching days. The current contract with the teachers’ union is set to expire on August 31st, with the new contract going into effect on Sept. 1st. Also in the contract, one change in class size: the maximum class size in grades 5 and 6 has been lowered from 33 to 31. Gray says there are just a few other changes in the contract — most of them involving calendar and language changes.
The two other bargaining units have also now ratified their agreements with the school district. They include the Brighton Educational Support Personnel Association, representing about 65 building secretaries, maintenance personnel, mechanics, paraprofessionals and food service employees, and the Brighton Area Schools Administrators Association. That group includes about 20 school principals and grade level principals, department heads and directors. The basic terms of the BASAA agreement include a 2% salary increase on scale and payment for professional development. The BESPA contract includes a 2% wage increase, plus another 2% upon completion of professional development.
Board of Education President Andy Burchfield says he is happy district teachers have approved the new contract. Quoting Burchfield: “Our teachers are the most important thing to our school district and children, and it’s important we have a good contract in place in supporting what they do and keeping our teachers on top.”
The Brighton Area Schools has about 6,000 students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. (TT)