BCSC, teachers reach tentative contract

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. has reached a tentative two-year agreement with its teachers’ association that will raise the salary scale about 12.5% over two years.

The potential 2021-23 agreement was presented at a special board meeting Tuesday afternoon. Archived video of this session is available on YouTube.

Columbus Educators’ Association President Amy London said CEA members will vote on the agreement later this week. If teachers ratify the agreement, the school board will vote on it at a regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

“We are pleased that BCSC and CEA have reached a tentative agreement that will raise the salary scale for our 769 teachers by about 12.5% over two years,” said the school corporation and teachers’ association in a joint statement.

Teachers would see an average increase of 6% for 2021-22 and 6.1% for 2022-23 under the agreement, per a presentation from the BCSC and the association. Assistant Superintendent of Financial Services Chad Phillips said these figures include base salary increases but not the increases from the referendum.

If the agreement is approved, all teachers on the salary schedule will see an increase of $2,935 for this year. This will raise starting salary from $39,065 to $42,000. The top of the scale, previously $77,465, will become $80,400. Maximum salary, including referendum increases, will rise from $85,000 to $87,935. Increases will be retroactive to the start of the contract year.

For 2022-23, starting salary will move to $44,600. The difference between each step on the salary schedule will increase from $1,200 to $1,500, and the schedule will be reduced from 33 steps to 27. The minimum increase for all teachers on the schedule is $2,600; increases will range from $2,600 to $3,800. The top of the scale will become $83,600, and the maximum salary, including referendum increases, will move to $90,000.

“That starts to put teachers up there with people who have degrees that are similar to ours for professionals,” said London.

The points system for experience increases under the referendum will remain the same for 2021-23.

As stated in last year’s agreement, teacher referendum increases are based on years of experience (at the beginning of the school year), with each year of BCSC experience counting for one point and each year of outside experience counting for a third of a point.

The referendum increase levels are as follows:

5-9.9 points: $5,000 increase

10-14.9 points: $10,000 increase

15+ points: $15,000 increase

“Just to clarify, the point system … it’s after they complete the five-, 10- and 15-year amounts,” London said. “Then, the following year they will get that amount on there.”