School board OKs boost in teacher base salary

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

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:

Alliance$30,050
Arapahoe$32,550
Cambridge$33,100
Chadron$32,700
Chase County$33,500
Crete$33,645
Dundy County$33,800
Hastings$32,700
Kearney$33,485
Holdrege$33,250
Gothenburg$34,000
Gretna$34,700
Hayes Center$32,350
Hitchcock County$32,750
Lexington$34,200
Lincoln$41,731
Maywood$31,700
McCook$33,360
Med. Valley/Curtis$32,500
Millard$36,485
Minden$34,300
North Platte$34,950
Ogallala$32,750
Papillion/LaVista$35,000
Perkins County$32,900
Scottsbluff$33,620
Southern Valley$32,900
Southwest$32,550
Wauneta/Palisade$32,200
York$32,800
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