Pittsburgh Public Schools and the city teachers union have reached a tentative agreement on a five year contract.
Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers President John Tarka says the deal will be voted upon by union members over the next 2 weeks but the executive board is unanimously recommending ratification.
The deal would increase teacher salaries in each year of a ten-step schedule. Tarka says the union had two goals heading into negotiations: to secure good pay and benefits for the teachers, and to help the students achieve. He says he’s pleased that a good deal was reached despite a difficult economic climate.
Pittsburgh Schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt told DUQ that he's very pleased because the tentative deal provides some stability to the district "and honors the work of our teachers but also aligns some significant compensation streams to our academic objectives."
Roosevelt says Pittsburgh teachers are well compensated compared to other urban districts but some suburban districts in southwestern Pennsylvania pay more..."The new teacher plan does make it so that a teacher who is highly effective with students can make $100,000 in the 10th year....that makes us competitive with anybody. But there is a connection between effectiveness and the opportunity to make that $100,000 salary."
The contract creates a new career ladder program that offers effective teachers additional pay between $9,300 and $12,000 a year to work with new teachers, help prepare 10th graders to graduate and to go into underperforming schools and help turn them around.