Fort Wayne Community Schools approves new teacher contract including pay raises

Full-time Fort Wayne Community Schools teachers could get a salary increase of $1,000 this school year and some will receive raises of up to about $5,000 under a new contract approved Monday night by the FWCS board of school trustees.

Board members approved the contract with the Fort Wayne Education Association (FWEA), which represents most FWCS teachers in union collective bargaining, during the board’s regular semimonthly meeting at Grile Administrative Center. The contract is retroactive to July 1 and runs through June 30, 2019.

Representatives of FWCS and FWEA reached a tentative contract agreement Oct. 5, FWCS announced Monday night. Teachers ratified the agreement Oct. 18.

The new contract places teachers on “rows” for salary level, information presented at the board meeting said. The base salary for teachers with a bachelor’s degree ranges from $39,100 to $60,000 per year, while base salary for teachers with a master’s degree ranges from $41,650 to $68,050, the FWCS announcement said.

By Indiana law, only teachers rated effective and highly effective during their annual evaluations will be eligible for raises, said Charles Cammack Jr., the district’s chief operations officer. Teachers who are rated ineffective or needs improvement won’t be eligible.

During the second year of the contract, teachers who are rated effective or highly effective in their evaluations also can move one row higher than their salary for this year, which will increase their pay by $1,100 for the year.

FWCS has about 1,900 full-time teachers, and 90 percent will be covered by the new contract, Cammack said.

Teachers who are eligible for raises for the 2017-2018 school year should see their pay increase by the end of this year, Cammack said.

School board President Julie Hollingsworth, a retired FWCS teacher, praised the new contract as good for teachers and for the school district.

The separate master’s degree salary track gives teachers incentive to earn a master’s degree, which they typically need to teach dual-credit courses, Hollingsworth said. Dual-credit classes allow high school students to earn college course credit while taking high school classes that also count toward their high school graduation.


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