(WICHITA, Kan.) — Negotiations have been nothing short of contentious for months, but both the union and school board have come to an agreement. Teachers could get a raise for the next school year. This comes after a four year pay freeze.
"We think this package is very comparable and fair. This agreement should continue to keep Wichita school teachers top 5 state wide when it comes to average and district starting salaries and district averages," said Wichita school board president Lynn Rogers.
In a press conference Tuesday morning, the district and union announced a 1% salary increase for teachers. On top of that, teachers will also receive a step raise which is based on years of experience. If they've received more education they will get a track raise as well. The school board did not grant any back pay to teachers.
"They will never make up what they have lost out and we can't put the blame soley on the board of education. The real blame is the state legislature and the governor," said Wichita Teachers United president Randy Mousley.
The union had originally asked for a 3% raise, step increases and back pay. Some teachers aren't as pleased with the outcome.
"It doesn't make up for inflation. I mean with that four years, it's like a subsidized inflation for us. I am thankful for that 1%, but could they have done better for our teachers? Yes," said Wilbur middle school teacher Chanda Thach.