New contract for Mason teachers includes raises, same health benefits

Teachers in Warren County’s largest school system have a new contract after a school board vote last week.

Mason schools’ teachers will receive a new, two-year contract after the district’s board unanimously approved a new employment pact for its 625 teachers.

The agreement calls for a 2.5 percent increase in salaries for each year of the two-year contract covering the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years.

The payment for health benefit plans will remain the same as the previous contract with teachers handling 10 percent of the cost, and the district picking up 90 percent.

Teachers who are eligible due to education certification, advanced degrees and seniority will also receive step increases based on their backgrounds, areas of instruction and achievements.

“The board of education greatly values our educators and their dedication to our students and families,” said Matt Steele, Board president. “Under this new agreement, we continue to be a destination district - a wonderful place to learn and work that attracts and retains top talent. We also remain good stewards of the resources our community entrusts to us.”

Maria Mueller, president of the teachers’ Mason Education Association (MEA), said “the members of the MEA appreciate the board’s commitment in this agreement to our professional growth so that we can continue to provide the best possible educational experiences and environments for our students.”

Mason has long been one of the top academic-performing school systems in Ohio. The district enrolls more than 10,000 students and has the highest enrollment of any high school in the state.

The two-year contract is a departure from past years, which usually featured three-year employment pacts negotiated between the teachers’ union and the district.

In a statement announcing the new contract, district officials said the school system’s latest financial projections called for offering a shorter-term contract.

School officials pointed out it has been 14 years since the district saw residents approve a new operating tax levy and that Mason only had enough cash on hand to certify a contract with teachers through fiscal year 2021.

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