New contract In Yakima School District includes pay increase - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New contract In Yakima School District includes pay increase

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YAKIMA, WA - A new two-year contract was approved last week for the Yakima School District.

Teachers will now be receiving a 6% pay increase for this school year, and an additional 5% increase the following year.

Substitute teachers will now also be placed on the regular teacher salary schedule after 30 days of work in the district.

Superintendent Dr. Jack Irion says this new contract will give more incentive for new teachers to stay working in the Yakima School District.

"Before this settlement, our teachers were not the highest-paid teachers in this area," he says. "So, we actually had teachers who left our school system and went to neighboring districts where they had a much richer financial package. That's no longer the case."

Further incentive includes an additional $200 for middle and high school teachers' school supply budget, and $300 more for elementary teachers--to help ensure educators aren't spending money out of pocket for their classrooms.

School psychologists will also now be able to receive national certification to allow them to get the same financial benefits as board-certified teachers.

One issue not yet addressed in the contract is large class sizes in elementary schools, which the district hopes to improve by implementing co-teaching.