Edmonds School District teachers will receive a 2% pay increase this fall after the Edmonds School Board of Directors voted Tuesday night to approve contract agreements for the 2021-22 school year.
The board voted at its July 13 business meeting to approve a recent agreement struck between the district’s bargaining team and the Edmonds Education Association (EEA), which represents the district’s certified teaching staff. Per the agreement, teachers will also receive a $1,250 increase for each step in their salary schedule. The 2% increase is funded by the state.
Initially, the district planned to return to negotiating a three-year contract with teachers, which it hasn’t done since last August. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the bargaining teams agreed on a one-year extension of last year’s contract. EEA President Andi Nofziger-Meadow said the extension allows for more flexibility for future negotiations during the pandemic.
“Folks really aren’t sure what this year is going to look like,” she said.
The district switched to online learning last March when state officials ordered schools to close to curb the spread of the coronavirus. This fall, the district plans to fully reopen its school buildings to in-person learning while also providing an online learning option for students who choose to stay remote.
Nofziger-Meadow also said teachers still need to assess the needs of students who have been out of a traditional school environment for 15 months. That will help the EEA determine which priorities to bring to the bargaining table next spring.
“We really just need to take some time this fall and winter assessing the situation so we can determine what those high priority items are for our next big contract,” she said.
The 2021-22 calendar includes a 183-day base contract and five designated supplemental days. An extra work day has also been added, Nofziger-Meadow said. Based on feedback received so far, Nofziger-Meadow said teachers are “fairly happy” with the agreement and have expressed appreciation for their bargaining team.
Communications Manager Harmony Weinberg said district leaders were pleased to reach an agreement so quickly “in order to meet the needs of our staff so they can continue their great work for our kids.”
–By Cody Sexton