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Mars teachers sign early-bird contract

December 18, 2013 News Extra

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ADAMS TWP — The Mars School Board and its 204 teachers have signed an early bird contract that will carry them through to 2016-17.

The board approved the three-year contract at a meeting Tuesday night. The teachers voted to approve the contract earlier that day.

Board President Dayle Ferguson said the contract will begin immediately after the current, one-year contract expires on June 30. The new contract will remain in effect through June 30, 2017.

Ferguson said the contract includes a 1.5 percent pay increase in the first year and second years, and a 1.75 percent increase in the third year.

Superintendent Jim Budzilek said the base salary in the first year of the contract for a new, step-one teacher with a bachelor’s degree will be $39,995. The highest salary that year would be $71,516 for a teacher who has reached step 18 — which is the highest level of pay for a teacher.

As part of the new contract, teachers also will pay a higher insurance co-pay when they visit the doctor, but that will not take effect until the second and third years of the contract.

Budzilek explained that beginning in the 2015-16 school year, the co-pay for a visit to an in-network specialist will rise from $25 to $30. In 2016-17, the co-pay for an in-network visit to a general practitioner will rise from $15 to $20.

The co-pays will remain the same this school year, and in 2014-15.

The contract also increases the teachers’ work year by one day, to 189 days per school year.

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