NASELLE — A contract through the end of the 2019-20 school year has been hammered out by the Naselle-Grays River Valley School District and the teachers union.
The NGRVSD Board met Monday morning and approved the contract with 4-0 vote.
The new contract establishes an 11.2 percent increase in teachers’ total compensation. The new salary matrix shows starting teachers will receive $42,730. At the other end of the spectrum, teachers with 16-plus years of experience and a master’s degree with 90 additional credits will receive $80,538.
“It has been a long process to reach this result,” said Naselle-Grays River Valley Education Association President Rudi Rudolph, a teacher at the Naselle Youth Camp. “Teachers are happy about the increase in pay and grateful for the community support.”
“This agreement ends up being less than what the five years of COLA (cost of living allowance) the state legislation suspended would have been,” said Rob Dalton, a teacher at the Naselle-Grays River Valley School. “But I think the state put (Superintendent) Lisa Nelson and our school board in a tough position, so I am thankful for what we received.”
Nelson expressed her relief in having the deal done: “When you sit in a room of people for hours at a time, you learn quite a bit about them. What it really boiled down to is we wanted the same things: respect and good pay for the profession, but to also keep the District solvent and our programs sustainable. I think we accomplished that.
“I love the staff in our district. They definitely have our kids’ best interests in mind. They are dedicated and committed, and we are planning to have a great school year,” she said.
— This report is by Nick Nikkila, a member of the school board.