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GCSC and Teachers Union Reach Tentative Agreement on New Contract

The Gary Community School Corporation (GCSC) and Gary Teachers Union (GTU) announced a tentative agreement on a new teachers contract, reaching a deal after negotiations went to mediation earlier this month. GTU members ratified the tentative agreement on Friday, December 17, GCSC Manager Dr. Paige McNulty said at a meeting of the Distressed Unit Appeal Board (DUAB).

The tentative agreement calls for a three percent increase in teachers’ base pay. In addition, teachers will receive up to $7,000 if they reach their performance-based incentives and benchmarks related to attendance and retention. For the incentives, teachers will have flexibility to choose from among a list that GCSC and GTU agreed to during negotiations.

“This tentative agreement gives teachers their fourth pay increase in the last 14 months, which demonstrates GCSC’s commitment to educators, especially during the pandemic,” said McNulty.

“This tentative agreement also highlights the need for our performance as a district to improve. By including these incentives and benchmarks, we hope to see improvements across the board, especially in academics.”

As part of the tentative agreement, teachers will have the opportunity to earn up to $3,000 based on their attendance and up to $1,000 for remaining with the district. The current staffing challenges facing school districts across the country led GCSC to advocate for these benchmarks being included in the contract.

Additionally, teachers will be able to earn up to $3,000 related to performance-based incentives. Examples include the percentage of students making progress in English language arts and math and, for high school teachers, the graduation rate.

“We know students in Gary are capable of extraordinary achievements, and our job is to support our students in reaching their potential,” said McNulty. “We hope these incentives will help raise everyone’s performance and ultimately lead to more support and better outcomes for our students.”

“The Gary Community Schools contract was received and voted on,” said GlenEva Dunham, president Local #4 of the GTU, and Joy Cheatham, an executive board member and teacher at Daniel Hale Williams Elementary School.

“As educators, we understand that we are still under state control and that negotiations are a two-way street. The stipends that we’ve negotiated are do-able, and I believe all my fellow educators will strive to go beyond what is needed to teach their students.”

After the referendum passed in November 2020, teachers received their first raise in 10 years. Teachers also received a stipend earlier this year and had their pay raised when GCSC extended the school day.

GCSC held a virtual public meeting to read the proposed changes to the contract. In addition, GCSC will hold a public meeting on December 27 to adopt and sign the contract.

The terms of the tentative agreement are posted on the GCSC website and the meetings will be broadcast on the District’s Facebook page.

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