The Portage Township School Board of Trustees unanimously approved the 2022-2023 collective bargaining agreement with the Portage Association of Teachers at their Special Board Meeting on Thursday night.
Highlights from this year’s agreement include a competitive raise at an average of 7.2% and maintaining health insurance premiums. The pay increase raises the salary range to $50,000 for teachers new to the profession up to a maximum salary of $79,450 for teachers with experience. The district absorbed the increased insurance costs to avoid a premium increase for all employee groups this school year.
School Board president Andy Maletta acknowledged the hard work and collaboration of the board and PAT bargaining team over the past two years to provide historic pay increases and address salary compression while holding costs on health insurance.
“I am proud that we have found the balance between being responsible with funding while being competitive with pay for our teachers,” Maletta said. “We have incredible teachers who work hard and are appreciated by the board.”
School Board secretary Troy Williams thanked the members of the PAT Bargaining Team and the PTS Bargaining Team for reaching a mutual agreement in an efficient and beneficial manner.
“I think what has been shown is a continued level of unprecedented support from the PTS Board of Trustees to our teachers,” Williams said.
Williams noted that last year’s landmark raises, this year’s 7.2% average raise, and the increase in starting pay for new teachers showcases a “true commitment by the board to ensure our teachers know they are respected and appreciated.”
School Board vice president Wilma Vazquez shared Williams’s sentiments and thanked the bargaining committee members for reaching an agreement in a “timely, effective, and collaborative manner.”
“Teachers are appreciated and valued by the board, students, families, and our community,” Vazquez said.
School board member Shaunna Finley recognized the hard work of our teachers and the impact they have on our students and families.
“This year’s agreement demonstrates our commitment to honoring the dedication of our teaching staff,” Finley said.
School board member Lori Wilkie echoed Finley’s sentiments, noting that the work of the staff has a positive effect on the entire community.
“We are so grateful for the work that our teachers do every day,” Wilkie said. “This collective bargaining agreement recognizes those efforts.”