A tentative teacher-contract agreement reached on Monday between the Ketchikan School District and Ketchikan Education Association will cost the district just shy of a million dollars for the first year of the contract.
The district provided a copy of the agreement Wednesday afternoon. Teachers will be voting on whether to ratify it next week. If that is approved by KEA members, it will go in front of the full Ketchikan School Board on Nov. 28.
The tentative agreement provides annual 2-percent raises for each “cell” of the salary schedule. Teachers move up on the salary schedule based on experience and education level.
For a starting teacher with no experience, the new contract would provide an increase of about $900 the first year compared to the current contract. A teacher at the highest level possible — with a master’s degree plus additional credits and 19-plus years of experience — would receive a raise of about $3,700.
The previous contract expired in spring of 2017. That means the first year of the tentative agreement covers that year, and any salary increases would be paid retroactively.
Matt Eisenhower is Ketchikan School Board president. He said new salary costs for the district beyond the first year haven’t yet been fully calculated. Retirements and other staffing changes would affect those numbers.
But, he said, the cost of newly negotiated health insurance is more clear.
“That cost is going to be about $340,000 a year. The second piece as far as salaries is concerned, that’s a little more complicated,” he said. “We know the numbers from the past, as far as retro-pay, but we’re still nailing down exactly what that would mean for next year, with the assumptions of the teachers and the experience and the education that they have. A round number for this year, we expect to have another $600,000 in salary costs.”
Eisenhower said estimated salary costs for subsequent years of the three-year negotiated agreement should be known by next week.
In an earlier interview, Eisenhower said the school board will ask the Ketchikan Gateway Borough for funding to cover new-contract costs.