Contract agreement reached between Greencastle-Antrim teachers, district officials

FRANKLIN COUNTY — After more than a year of negotiating, a contract agreement has been reached between Greencastle-Antrim School District teachers and district officials.

The school board voted 6-2, with one board member abstaining, to approve the four-year agreement Thursday night. It will run September 1, 2017 through August 31, 2021, according to a letter posted to Facebook by Superintendent Kendra Trail.

“It was a lengthy process, but we believe this agreement will allow us to continue to focus on classroom priorities and deliver a quality education to our students,” said Ellen Kirkner, GAEA president and high school Social Studies teacher.

The agreement provides a 2% salary increase for each year of the contract — which runs from the existing 2017-18 school year to 2020-2021, the Greencastle-Antrim Education Association release states. It also increases the surcharge to $150 for spouses of teachers who have their own employer healthcare insurance but would rather stay on the district insurance plan, the release adds. Under the previous contract, which expired last August, the surcharge was $100.

Because of the agreement, a strike has been averted.

“With this contract, Greencastle-Antrim teachers will no longer have the highest starting salary in Franklin County,” said Brandon Solomon, a high school English teacher and GAEA’s chief negotiator. “But our members were willing to accept the smaller salary increases in order to resolve the contract and avoid a strike.”

Superintendent Trail’s full letter on Facebook can be seen below: 

May 5, 2018

Dear GASD Parents/Guardians,

I am pleased to announce that GAEA has officially informed me at 8:06 p.m. this evening they have accepted the changes of the new contract dated September 1, 2017 through August 31, 2021. Therefore, with that action, a strike has been averted and the district will follow the regular school calendar. All activities and events will proceed as scheduled. I realize this process has been a difficult one, but I am excited to move forward in collaboration with our Board of School Directors, administrative team, faculty and staff regarding the quality of education for our students. 
Also, please remember that Monday, May 7, is scheduled for a 2-hour delay as per the school calendar for Act 80 purposes.

Sincerely,

Kendra K. Trail, Ed. D.
Superintendent