By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY
VENTNOR – The Board of Education Thursday, Sept. 9 approved a new three-year contract with the Ventnor Education Association. The contract covers July 1 to June 30, 2024.
Teachers’ base salary increased 3.2% for the first year, and will increase 3% in 2022 and 2.6% in 2023.
New to the contract a new “Step 0” being added to the bottom of the 14-step salary guide. New hires will enter the guide at Step 0 for their first 100 days of service. After that, they proceed to Step 1, which carries a starting salary of $57,316. The highest salary in the guide is $92,500, VEA President Michelle Masterman said.
The Step 0 provision will sunset when the contract expires in 2024.
“We are very happy with the outcome of negotiations. We were able to come to a mutual agreement,” she said. “Right now, we are looking forward to the new school year. Hopefully, it will be a more normal year.”
The association opened negotiations with the board in November 2020. The teachers ratified a tentative agreement on Sept. 1 and the board approved the contract at a special meeting held mid-day Thursday.
School board President Douglas Biagi said the contract is fair and equitable with compromises on both sides.
“The nice thing about our relationship with our teachers is that it makes negotiations cordial and professional. There is never malice and no one takes things personally. We work through it,” he said.
Biagi commended the teaching staff amid tumultuous times.
“We are proud of our incredible staff at the VECC, and their performance during the pandemic,” he said.
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