School board OKs boost in teacher base salary
McCOOK, Neb. -- Teacher salaries will increase next year, with a $640 increase in the base salary.
The McCook Board of Education unanimously agreed to the salary/benefit agreement with teachers for 2016-17, at Monday night's regular board meeting. The board did not go into closed session to discuss the agreement as stated on the agenda, but Teresa Thomas, the board's negotiation committee, said the agreement was ready to go before the full board.
The agreement caps off months of discussions with the school board's negotiation committee and the McCook Education Association, he bargaining agent for McCook Public School teachers.
The new agreement will bump-up first year teacher salaries at MPS, from $33,360 to $34,000, a 1.91 percent increase. This compares to base salary compensation with other schools in the state for this year, according to salaries posted online from the Nebraska State Education Association (www.nesa. org,) a union for Nebraska public school organizations.
Salaries for teachers increase from the base salary depending on yearly salary agreements approved by the school board, years of employment with a school district and additional educational credits they receive.
The agreement approved unanimously by the board Monday night approved an "increase in the base salary of $640 (2017 base $34,000) and offering dual option EHA insurance with either the $900 deductible or $3,500 deductible/ HSA basis." Dental coverage remains the same.
McCook Schools business manager Rick Haney said Monday night that the new agreement also clarified some confusion about salary for teachers who have a bachelor's degree plus a master's degree, with the new agreement clarifying that teachers must first complete a master's degree program before they receive compensation for additional educational hours.
Salaries tend to be higher in the eastern part of the state and in larger schools, as shown in a sampling of base teacher salaries across the state for 2015-16: