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New Contract for Keokuk Teachers

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The Keokuk School Board this week approved a new two-year contract with the Keokuk Education Association. The  agreement takes effect July 1, 2016.

Superintendent Tim Hood told the board Monday night that the deal includes an annual increase in total compensation of 3.1%. That covers salaries and benefits.

The contract allows teachers to advance on the salary schedule each of the next two years, based on their education level and time with the district.

The starting salary for a Keokuk teacher is expected to increase, though the district did not have the exact amount as the final contract language is being worked out through attorneys for both sides

Hood said there were a few small language changes in regards to activity tickets and continuing education. Another came in the area of benefits, specifically tax sheltered annuities.

Business Manager Heidi Harness said in the past, the district helped pay for family health insurance premiums. Teachers with a single policy would receive the same amount of money as a contribution to a tax sheltered annuity.  Now, instead of accepting the money as a contribution to the tax sheltered annuity, an employee with a single health insurance policy can take the cash, minus taxes.

The new contract runs through June 30, 2018.

The rest of the district's union employees, including clerical staff and custodians, are entering the second year of a three year contract.

Hood said the district has yet to finalize the contracts with its administrative team.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.