FD school board approves teacher contract

Agreement includes 4 percent raises

Teachers in the Fort Dodge Community School District will be receiving their new contracts shortly following action by the school board Friday.

During a special meeting conducted by telephone, the board unanimously approved a new two-year collective bargaining agreement with the Fort Dodge Education Association that will give the teachers 4 percent raises in each year.

Superintendent Josh Porter said the agreement will improve the district’s ability to recruit and retain teachers.

“This is probably the biggest win-win for the district since I’ve been involved in negotiations,’ said Stu Cochrane, president of the Board of Education.

The agreement is for the two-year period that begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2026.

It covers about 240 employees, including teachers, guidance counselors and school nurses.

In the first year, they will receive 4.04 percent raises.

In the second year, they will receive 4 percent raises.

Also in the second year, the structure of the pay system will be changed. For decades union members were paid based on their years of service and level of education, a system that relied on what human resources professionals call “lanes and steps” to determine what a person’s salary should be.

In the second year of the agreement, a pool pay structure will be implemented in which all union members will receive the same dollar amount when the district gives raises.

Cochrane said Porter and Brandon Hansel, the district’s executive director of financial services, “did a great job on this.”

Porter credited the union membership for their part in the successful contract negotiations, which were concluded in a few hours on Wednesday.

“I would like to commend our association for the work on their end,” Porter said.

After the board approved the agreement, it approved identical raises for all of the district’s administrators except Porter and Hansel. The administrators receiving the raises are principals, assistant principals, and the directors who work in the central office. Potential raises for Porter and Hansel will be considered by the board separately.

The board also approved a 4 percent raise for professional support staff, which includes information technology workers, the board secretary, behavior interventionists and juvenile court liaisons.

There are 78 employees in administration and professional support staff.

Porter said a special board meeting was held so that individual contracts could be sent to teachers as soon as possible.


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