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Prairie Grove School District 46 reaches deal with teachers union

The Prairie Grove Teachers’ Association and Prairie Grove School District 46 have agreed to a new contract.

The contract includes the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years.

Up to 10 years of credit for experience outside the district may be given by the superintendent upon approval of the District 46 board when hiring a new teacher, according to the contract. The amount of credit will be determined by the amount of experience in the position to which the teacher is being assigned.

The district also can offer more than 10 years of credit for experience outside the district – with previous approval from the association of co-presidents – for hard-to-fill positions. Hard-to-fill positions include social workers, psychologists and nurses.

Teachers’ salaries will be based on a matrix that accounts for changes in the consumer price index. In addition to the annual salary increases, the board will pay a one-time, nonrecurring stipend of $800 at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

Superintendent John Bute said he believes teachers are happy with the contract, which is similar to past agreements.

“It’s tied to the consumer price index. It’s a 2.5 to 3.5 range as far as a percentage goes,” Bute said. “If the CPI over the last two years averaged together is less than 2.5, they get 2.5. If it’s above 3.5 on the two-year average, the max they can get is 3.5.”

At the beginning of each school year, each full-time teacher will be credited with 12 sick days at full pay. If sick days are not used, the unused days accumulate.

All teachers will be granted four days of leave at full pay, which will be used for personal business. Teachers who work less than full time will receive personal days, pro-rated, to their assigned teaching time. Unused days will be added to sick days.

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