Chatfield Public Schools gives teachers hefty raise in new agreement

(ABC 6 News) – Teachers at Chatfield Public Schools will start to see bigger paychecks this week.

At the most recent school board meeting, the teachers union and board agreed to a 4% increase in teachers salaries for this school year.

There have been several teachers within the district who have left the profession over the last couple of years, and they hope the increase of pay will keep current teachers and interest new ones to come to Chatfield.

Numbers released this year show teachers are leaving their profession at an alarming rate. There are several reasons for that, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and low pay.

Ed Harris, the superintendent of CPS, says another common reason teachers are leaving is a rise in health care costs.

“The cost of health care and the challenge of how employers are challenged to provide something affordable, to their employees. It’s really the influencer in how budgets are able to be managed and what people maybe chose to do what they do with their careers,” Harris said.

So Chatfield school leaders worked with the teachers union to increase pay by 4% for this school year, and 3.4% in the 2024-25 school year.

This increase rate is nearly double what teachers received during their last agreement in 2021, and similar to what other districts in the area are doing.

Chatfield Education Association union rep Katie Goldsmith says this will be one of the largest increase teachers have seen at CPS in recent years.

“I think it means that our community and our school board are willing to invest in our teachers. And hopefully we can attract some high quality teachers as well to keep our education high here in Chatfield. For our teachers that have been in it for a while, it’s a huge increase,” said Goldsmith.

Harris believes this increased rate will only strengthen an already strong school system and keep new or freshly graduated teachers interested in starting or continuing their careers in Chatfield.

“We have an excellent school system for teachers to teach, and students to learn and that our salary and working conditions are very competitive and very attractive and we work really hard to try and maintain that.”

Some school districts across the state are still in negotiations with their teacher associations on new collective barging agreements but Harris believes there will be more wage increases similar to Chatfield’s here soon.