By Sadie Hunter
At its Sept. 20 meeting, the Noblesville Schools Board of Trustees approved the new teacher’s contract for the 2016-17 school year.
Prior to approval, the contract was jointly ratified by Noblesville Schools and the Noblesville Teachers’ Forum Sept. 8.
Representatives from the district and teachers’ forum work together each year in what the district calls an interest-base bargaining process, where the parties involved focus on common interests rather than positions to “brainstorm and evaluate potential outcomes,” a press release from Noblesville Schools stated. The process was used to negotiate the new contract and previous contracts.
“The Noblesville Teachers’ Forum applauds the continued collaboration with Noblesville Schools to ensure that the community is able to attract and retain the best teachers for the benefit of the students,” Forum President Deb Marcum stated. “We value a contract that is able to reward teachers and be fiscally responsible for the citizens of Noblesville.”
Highlights of the new contract include an average 3.9 percent base-pay increase for effective and highly effective teachers; increased flexibility and compensation for teachers leading school clubs and activities; combined sick and family illness days to provide teachers increased flexibility; and an increased retirement stipend to facilitate more notice of vacancies and provide more time for high-quality replacements to be found.
“We have a strong, talented teaching staff at Noblesville Schools, and making sure their hard work is valued is one of my top priorities,” Superintendent Beth Niedermeyer stated. “Addressing teacher compensation within the reality of a tight budget is a challenge for districts throughout the state, and this contract reflects our best effort to give as much as we can in the face of this ongoing challenge.”