FD teachers would get 4% raises in proposed contract

Agreement reached in one day

Submitted photo: Fort Dodge Community School District superintendent Josh Porter speaks to a class at the Early Childhood Center earlier this year.

Teachers in the Fort Dodge Community School District would receive 4 percent raises in each year of a tentative two-year contract reached by negotiators Wednesday.

The agreement must be ratified by the members of the Fort Dodge Education Association and be approved by the Board of Education.

District Superintendent Josh Porter described 4 percent raises as “almost unheard of.”

He said the district enjoys a “great relationship” with the teachers union.

“We work really well together,” he said.

“The teacher shortage is real and we’re trying to do everything we can to appreciate and support them,” he added.

Porter said he meets with union representatives once a month.

“Just that open dialog, open communication, has been beneficial,” he said.

Dan Adams, the lead negotiator for the Fort Dodge Education Association, said he was “very happy” with the results of Wednesday’s negotiations.

“The most important thing at the end of the day is what is best for our Fort Dodge kids,” he said.

He said the teachers and the district administration keep that foremost in their minds.

“If we can stay on that path, we can polish our brand and people will want to come here and teach,” he said.

He credited Porter with being “very transparent” in his dealings with the teachers.

“It’s never necessarily been like that,” he said. “The last year has been awesome.”

The proposed contract would cover 240 employees, including teachers and school nurses.

It would go into effect on July 1 and end on June 30, 2026.

In the first year, employees would receive a 4.04 percent raise.

In the second year, they would receive a 4 percent raise.

In addition to the raises, the proposed contract makes a significant change in the structure of the pay system. 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.

Porter said in the second year of the contract, a “pool pay” system will be implemented in which all teachers will receive the same dollar amount when the district gives raises.

Adams said the pool pay system “gives our veteran teachers the opportunity to get a consistent raise each year.”

The contract negotiations were concluded in one day. Both sides presented their initial bargaining positions during a 3 p.m. meeting. A couple hours after that, the tentative deal was struck.


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