After five years of stressful negotiations, the Clay Community Classroom Teachers Association (CCCTA) and the Clay Community Schools School Board have ratified a contract.
The board approved the contract, with six votes for and one abstaining, at the Monday, Nov. 26, meeting at North Clay Middle School. Len Fischer abstained from voting.
Michelle Cooper, the school corporation's lawyer from Bose, McKinney and Evans law firm in Indianapolis, read the agreement to the board. Cooper also expressed her thanks to all involved in the process.
The agreement is retroactive to the 2003-04 school year, and will extend through the end of the current school year.
Teachers will receive no pay raises for the 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 school years, and receive a one-time retroactive pay for the 2006-07 school year of 2.5 percent on the salary schedule, not taking into account any extra work, such as Drivers Education instruction or Summer School.
For the 2007-08 school year, teachers will receive a 2.43 percent raise on the salary schedule.
Teachers who retired between 2004 and 2006 will receive a one-time $1,000 payment that will count as salaried income when reported to the Teacher's Retirement Fund.
The retroactive pay will be received by the teachers on the Dec. 7 check, and the second check of December and the first check of January will be on the current pay scale.
From the second payment date of January through the end of the contract in August, teachers will receive the scheduled raise.
"It's wonderful. It's nice to get a settlement that works for both sides and lets us get back to the job of educating," CCCTA Representative Russ True said.
"A lot of things came together at the right time," True said.
During the meeting, members of the board expressed their relief and happiness that the contract was settled.
Several board members thanked the bargaining teams for their work and getting the contract finished.
"I'm glad it's settled. I appreciate all the time and effort they put into getting this done," school board president Terry Barr said after the meeting.