The Clarkston Education Association voted in favor of ratifying teacher contracts with a 12 percent increase for the 2018-19 school year.

Stephen Stroschein, the president of the union, said the association’s members voted separately on each category that had been negotiated with the district. The salary increase was ratified with a unanimous vote Tuesday night.

The state had given the Clarkston School District $1.2 million for teacher salaries.

“The district and the union worked closely together. We came across a number the state sent to the district to be used for salaries, and we agreed that was the percentage,” Stroschein said of the increase. “Once we figured that out, we settled in a day.”

The Clarkston School Board still has to vote on the contracts at its Monday meeting.

The contracts’ starting date will be Sept. 1.

Superintendent Tim Winter said he was pleased with the agreement.

“I think we ended where we needed to end,” he said. “Bargaining is not easy, but I think both sides worked well together, and we’re all pleased. We’re ready to move forward as a district.”

Changes to education funding in Washington eliminated a previously used salary schedule, so the coming year’s needed to be negotiated from scratch.

“Unfortunately, the state put districts in the state of Washington in a really tough situation,” Stroschein said. “I think districts overall are trying to work really hard together to come up with a solution for the new salary schedule. It did take some cooperative work to make sure that the district could afford the new salaries and that teachers were happy with their settlement, but I do think that the district office and union members worked well together.”

Tomtas may be contacted at jtomtas@lmtribune.com or at (208) 848-2294.

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