AUGUSTA — A new, two-year contract for teachers, providing money for raises each year, is up for approval by the Board of Education Wednesday.

Board members already approved similar new contracts with unions representing custodians, administrators and support staff in the city’s schools.

Teachers ratified the proposed new contract last week, according to Jeff DeJongh, president of the Augusta Education Association, the union that represents the city’s public school teachers, following about four months of negotiations with the school board. The current contracts ran through the end of this school year.

“I’m pleased,” DeJongh, who is also chairman of the science department at Cony High School, said of the proposed new contract. “The overall tone of the negotiations was far better than it has been. Roughly four months of negotiations, and we have a contract (proposal) before this one expires. That was very nice to be able to work far more collegially.”

DeJongh said there were no major changes to benefits packages.

Superintendent James Anastasio said the school board has already ratified new, two-year contracts with custodians, support staff and administrators. He also indicated negotiations went fairly smoothly.

“People worked well together on both sides,” Anastasio said.

He said there was money, about $400,000, in the school budget approved by the board and city voters this year to accommodate increases in pay for school employees.

Kathy Casparius, director of business, said it is impossible to determine a single percentage increase all teachers would receive in the proposed new contract, because several factors, including years of experience and education, impact teacher pay.

However, base teacher pay in the contract, if the contract is approved by board members, would increase from $32,000 to $33,500, a 4.7 percent increase.

Board members meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the cafeteria at Capital Area Technical Center to consider approving the new contract for teachers.

They are also scheduled to consider changes to Anastasio’s contract as superintendent.

Anastasio is under contract until 2018, but his contract was amended to remove references to him being “interim” superintendent, as well as references to the city charter’s since-removed requirement the superintendent live in the city.

In November of last year, residents voted to remove a city charter requirement that the superintendent of schools live in Augusta. Anastasio, who has been “interim” superintendent in Augusta since January 2013, lives in Gardiner.

Because of the residency requirement, Anastasio’s current contract specifies he is officially the interim superintendent until July 1.

Anastasio’s contract will be amended to remove references to interim or residency and to include an approximately 2 percent increase in his salary to about $115,000 per year. That 2 percent increase, he noted, is in line with the 2 percent raises granted to other administrators in the school system.

Board members are also scheduled to consider new staff hires, a student group travel request and meet in a workshop session to discuss communications.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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