Mason City school teachers agree to new contract

Mason City teachers reach contract agreement

(ABC 6 News) – The good news is that the Mason City Community School District and the Mason City Education Association (MCEA) teachers’ union reached an agreement, but it will come with significant costs.

Even though the teachers didn’t get everything they wanted, they said it’s better to at least have a contract.

“State funding isn’t necessarily keeping up with the cost of doing things and we had to ask some tough things of our teachers this year that nobody wanted to do, the board, or myself, or anybody, that obviously made it a tough year for negotiations,” Mason City Community School District superintendent Pat Hamilton said.

It took many months of negotiations, but now under the new agreement, teachers will receive a $4,000 raise.

It came at a cost as that wasn’t the only thing teachers were hoping to get in the new agreement.

“We really were fighting to keep the salary schedule in our final offer that we gave to them which was the same amount they offered, except that it was to keep the salary schedule along with that and they declined that.”

The salary schedule was a way for teachers to have an idea of how much they would be making over a period of years.

That wasn’t the only benefit lost in the deal, with the deadline being on May 31st, they had to accept this contract.

“We really were looking to keep the benefit of our tax shelter annuity which can be used to go towards family insurance or into a tax shelter annuity.”

This contract is only good for one year so both sides will be meeting again at the negotiation table.

Superintendent Hamilton said that enrollment plays a huge role in the funding they receive from the state.

That’s something they’ll monitor closely during next school year to see if they have to make some more tough decisions.