Sunman-Dearborn School Corp., Teachers Reach New Contract
By Mike Perleberg
(St. Leon, Ind.) – Sunman-Dearborn Community Schools and the Sunman-Dearborn Educators Association have reached a new collective bargaining agreement.
The deal between the teachers union and school district begins retroactively July 1, 2017 and will be in effect through June 30, 2019. It was unanimously ratified by the union on October 18 and the Sunman-Dearborn Community Schools Board of Trustees unanimously accepted it on October 19.
“Our contract changes included a salary increase for all teachers. We made very few changes to the contract language,” said S-DEA president Brenda Osman.
SDCSC Superintendent Dr. Andrew Jackson said the school board and S-DEA understood there was a problem to be fixed in regard to the compensation plan.
“We basically started from scratch. It has been simplified, and we have eliminated the issue of new teachers being hired at a different salary than returning teachers with the same experience and education level,” said Jackson.
Like many school districts in Indiana, Sunman-Dearborn is trying to lure more teachers to fill open positions. Jackson said the new contract includes more competitive salary and benefits, part of the district’s five year plan to attract new educators.
“We also gave a significant increase to our teachers, after several years of little or no increase. While the actual percentage varies widely by teachers, the overall average increase was over five percent,” Jackson said.
Jackson credited Osman and the S-DEA for bringing a compensation plan to the table that stayed true to the district’s strategic plan. It is also compliant with the various stipulations required by the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board.
“No easy task, to be certain,” he added.
The school board, Jackson said, had the vision to adopt a strategic plan addressing the need to remain competitive with salaries and benefits as the school corporation continues to see a teacher shortage.