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New Contract for West Prairie Teachers


Teachers in the West Prairie School District will start the school year under a new contract next Tuesday.

Superintendent Jonathan Heerboth says the two sides did not have long agendas.

He says, “For the board I think it was important to try and get some kind of a cap on health benefit costs down the line. And the board bargained hard for that.”

The district currently pays the entire premium for single employee coverage. That costs $650 per month. The two sides negotiated a cap of $750 per month on future health insurance premiums. Heerboth hopes the premium never reaches the cap but he says it gives the board some certainty on its costs.

The teachers will receive a one-half of one percent raise the first year of the contract. They will get a one-percent raise the second year and a two-percent raise in the last year of the deal.

Heerboth also says the contract doesn't contain new pension provisions.

He says, “We considered a variety of options relative to pension payment. And pretty much set those issues aside for now because of the uncertainty of that. We just have no information.”

Heerboth says that issue will likely be revisited once the state legislature takes action on pension reform for teachers and state employees.