Pickerington school board, teachers union agree to two-year contract

Nate Ellis
ThisWeek group

Pickerington Schools' teachers and other non-administrative certified staff will receive 2% raises each of the next two years, following a new deal between their union and the district.

The board of education voted unanimously May 17 to approve the two-year labor contract with the Pickerington Education Association, starting with the 2021-22 school year. 

Pickerington School Board President Clay Lopez

According to district officials and the PEA, the agreement was reached after one day of negotiations. 

"I want to thank everyone from our administrative team, as well as the PEA, for working to get that done in such an efficient manner," said Clay Lopez, school board president. "I think it shows how good this district really is and how good the relationship is between our employees and this board and our administration." 

The PEA represents approximately 685 teachers, nurses, guidance counselors, media specialists and special-services providers.

Following the board's approval of the agreement, the PEA issued a statement calling the new contract "fair" and saying it "meets the mutual goals of staff and administration as we share the same desire to provide quality education, resources and support to our diverse student population." 

"Further, the PEA believes this agreement will aid in recruiting and retaining quality staff and recognizes PEA bargaining unit members as valued stakeholders in district planning and decision making," the PEA statement said.

The agreement also provides PEA members with a one-time stipend of $1,000 in December of the 2021-22 school year for professional development training. 

"The stipend recognizes the additional work required to provide individualized instruction and to ensure students stay on track during these challenging times," the PEA statement said. "We will also be piloting some online-facilitated learning for students."

The agreement was reached ahead of the June 30 expiration of the current contract. The previous pact gave teachers and other non-administrative, certified staff members a 2.5% raise in the 2018-19 school year and 2% increases in both 2019-20 and 2020-21.

According to a financial-impact summary of the agreement provided by the district, the new contract will cost approximately $5.05 million over the two years. 

nellis@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekNate