Worthington News

Teachers OK 3-year deal; BOE to vote


A new three-year contract between Worthington teachers and the Worthington Board of Education is expected to be approved next Monday, June 9.

Approved by the Worthington Education Association on June 2, the contract calls for a 2-percent increase in the base salary for teachers. Most teachers also receive step increases, meaning their actual raises will be more than 2 percent.

The agreement is being touted as "unprecedented" because it allows the district to determine a new teacher's salary based on the district's needs, the market and the candidate's experience rather than a set salary schedule.

Most Ohio school districts, including Worthington, must follow a strict grid in determining the salary of a new hire.

Under the provisions of the proposed contract, the district would be able to pay more for teachers in harder-to-fill areas, such as science and math.

"This took vision on the part of everyone involved, and I am proud that Worthington can lead the way with this critical change," Superintendent Thomas Tucker said.

WEA president Mark Hill said he also is pleased with the new contract.

"We think this allows the district to continue to attract the best teachers to our district," he said.

Also under the contract, any teacher who earns the designation of "ineffective," based on the evaluator's observations, would be denied a step increase.

The contract also sets a cap for district expenses for health-care costs for the next three years.

Potential increases in health-care costs will be handled by increased employee premiums or plan design changes. Teachers now pay 14 percent of the cost of their premiums.