Archbold, OH

Archbold Teachers, Classified Workers Accept Pay Freeze

The Archbold Education Association and Archbold Area School Board have reached a three-year agreement that calls for district teachers to take a one-year freeze in base pay.

The board approved the pact at a special meeting, Monday, June 24.

For the 2013-14 school year, teachers and other certified personnel will receive no raise in base pay.

For 2014-15 and 2015-16, base pay increases 1% per year.

It’s similar to the deal AEA and the district reached in 2010, when teachers took a one-year freeze, then raises of 1.25% and 1.5%.

The AEA represents teachers and certified staff in labor negotiations with the school board.

“As was done in 2010, the Archbold Education Association has taken a pay freeze on base salary, being mindful of the economic climate, as well as the concerns of the district and its constituents, while continuing our record of education excellence in teaching the children of Archbold,” Kent Vandock, AEA president, said in a joint press release.

“Throughout the process, our goal was to work collaboratively with the school administration and the board of education to meet the needs of our school district.

“We were pleased with the collaborative nature of the process.”

Jon Lugbill, school board president, said in the same release, “Since 2006, Archbold Area Schools, along with the community, have had to navigate through new, uncharted waters. Being wise stewards of the resources we have been entrusted with is a must.

“This agreement is just one more step in allowing us to continue on.

“However, what these past seven years, along with this most current negotiating process have shown us, is the importance of working together as a team, and that our work is not yet done.

“Educating students today requires involvement from us all, and when that doesn’t happen, we are all affected.”

Step Increases

Teachers receive pay hikes in two ways.

One way is through the district salary schedule.

When teachers complete a year of teaching, they often are eligible for an increase in pay based on an additional year of experience. They go up a step on the salary schedule.

Earning an advanced degree also increases a teacher’s position on the pay schedule, resulting in higher pay.

If base pay is increased by 1%, for example, all steps in the salary schedule go up 1%.

If a teacher is at a step in the salary schedule and base pay goes up by 1%, the teacher gets both the step increase and raise in base pay.

However, there are plateaus in the school district salary schedule– places where a teacher can go four years without seeing a step increase for additional experience.

As part of the three-year contract agreed to Monday, even with the freeze in base pay, teachers who are eligible for a step increase will receive the pay hike.

Teachers also can earn extra money by taking on extra work such as coaching sports or supervising student clubs and organizations.

The school board issues contracts for additional work, called supplementals.

Other Parts

In other parts of the agreement, teachers will see their health insurance premiums increase by 2% per year.

Also, new rules imposed by the State of Ohio will see teachers paying an additional 1% toward their State Teachers Retirement System plans.

The new contract between the school board and the AEA also makes some changes in supplemental contracts, adjustments in leave policies, policies concerning staff vacancies, and changes in retirement and teacher evaluations due to state mandates.

Christine Ziegler, district chief financial officer, said she had not analyzed the new agreement, or its impact on the district financial picture.

Classified Staff

Following Archbold tradition, members of the district classified staff received the same pay hike arrangement as the teachers– a pay freeze in the first year, followed by 1% pay hikes each year for the next two years.

Classified workers include bus drivers, custodians, cooks, etc.

Aaron Rex, superintendent, said the new agreement with the classified staff, which is not represented by a bargaining unit, was similar to the contract with the AEA.

Classified staff benefits are the same as those negotiated with the teachers.

The board approved the operations manual for classified employees, which includes salary and benefits package details.

“Our classified staff has a huge responsibility in getting our kids to school safely, keeping good care of our buildings, providing nutritious foods, and making Archbold schools a great place for kids,” Rex said.

“The school system can now focus on getting ready for another great school year, where it can continue to build on a reputation of success in the classroom and on the athletic fields.”

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