By Sam Elliott
The Zionsville Community Schools Board of School Trustees and the Zionsville Education Association have come to an agreement on a new two-year contract for the district’s teachers.
The collective bargaining agreement reached between the teachers and administration the morning of Nov. 17, was unanimously approved by the Board of School Trustees at a special meeting Nov. 19.
“The agreement was forged through the required involvement of a state-appointed mediator across three marathon sessions that ended following all-night negotiations on Monday, Nov. 16,” board president Shari Alexander Richey said.
The new agreement will see Zionsville teachers and counselors — who have gone without a raise since 2010 — have their base salary increased by at least $1,000 in each year of the deal.
Teachers and counselors with master’s degrees will receive increases of $1,100 each year.
“Indiana law restricts contract length to the years of the current state biannual budget, so the contract length maximum was two years,” Richey said. “By law, only teachers evaluated to be effective or highly effective could receive additional compensation.”
Richey thanked the negotiating members of the ZEA on half of the board for their work on the settlement since August.
“I think both the teachers’ union as well as the folks in the administration would say that none of us got everything we would say we desired,” she said. “At the same time, we came together and I think we can go forward in a unified front letting the mission that has to be done in this school corporation be done. It’s good to have it completed.
“From a board perspective, I would say our effort was to try and achieve both balance and viability,” Richey added. “We tried to focus squarely on the facts of our finite resources.”
Tim Yovanovich, president of finance of the ZEA and a teacher at Zionsville West Middle School, released a statement on behalf of the organization and district’s teachers following Thursday’s meeting.
“The dedicated teachers of Zionsville Community Schools appreciate the strong support from the community that has continued to stand behind our public schools and our students,” it read. “The recently ratified teachers’ contract provides teachers with a base salary increase of approximately two percent, which we hope will ensure that teachers’ wages will at minimum keep up with inflation. However, we still have work to do and expect that ZCS schools provide a learning environment which ensures our students will receive the best instruction and be empowered to achieve.”