School, teachers reach agreement
By Neal A. Shipman
Under a new agreement approved by the McKenzie County School District No. 1 School Board on Monday, May 22, Watford City teachers will see a three percent increase in base salary in each of the next two years.
“The negotiation process went very smoothly,” stated Steve Holen, district superintendent. “We met eight times before we were able to come to the final agreement.”
While the Watford City Education Association had initially asked for a $1,000 increase in base salary for the first year and an additional $1,500 increase in the second year of the new contract, the final agreement was for exactly half of that amount.
“Based on the $500 base increase, our starting salary for the 2017-2018 school year will be $45,600,” stated Holen. “And then increases to $46,350 with the $750 increase in the second year of the contract.”
As part of the salary agreement, the school district and the WCEA also agreed to a new salary schedule that, according to Holen, is more in line with what Class A schools utilize.
“Basically the new salary schedule encourages our teachers to get more education in order to guarantee salary increases,” stated Holen. “It’s a win-win situation where the teachers with better education will be able to receive higher pay, while the district receives more qualified teachers.”