Board and United Teachers of Wichita reach tentative contract agreement

Wichita Public Schools (KSN File Photo)
Wichita Public Schools (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The United Teachers of Wichita and the Wichita Board of Education have announced a tentative one-year agreement on a contract for the 2016-17 school year. The United Teachers of Wichita represents nearly 4,100 teachers in the Wichita Public Schools.

Details of the tentative agreement according to USD 259 include:

  • One step (for years of experience) and track movement (for additional education);
  • $500 one-time payment for all teachers except those eligible for longevity movement;
  • For teachers eligible for longevity movement, a one-time payment based on where the teacher should be placed on longevity;
  • Additional $100 BOE contribution to the employee health plan, from $590 to $690 per month.

If the tentative agreement is ratified, teachers will receive the following on their November pay check:

  • Step movement
  • Track movement if submitted to human resources by Oct. 21, and
  • One-time payment amount ($500 or one-time longevity movement equivalent)

Retroactive pay will be reflected on their December paycheck. Teachers have until Oct. 21 to submit educational records and be eligible for track movement during the 16-17 contract year.

“Teachers change lives through their work in our classrooms every day,” said Superintendent John Allison. “They are our community’s heroes, and deserved to be compensated as such. We will continue to fight for the resources that will allow us to do just that.”

The UTW Pro Reps will meet this coming Monday, October 10, at 5:15, at the Machinists Hall on South Meridian, to discuss the agreement and make a recommendation to teachers. The ratification vote will be conducted electronically. The voting will begin on Monday, Oct. 17 and will conclude at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20.

UTW President Steve Wentz released the following statement on the agreement:

Yesterday, United Teachers of Wichita and the BOE reached a tentative agreement (TA) on a contract
for 2016-2017. While UTW is glad to be able to move forward, it is obvious there remains much work to be
done to bridge the gap between the perceptions that district leadership has of those standing in front of
students, and the realities for those who are actually there. We believe this agreement is the best that can be
obtained at this point, however the disconnect between district leadership and teachers will continue to be an
obstacle to growth and improvement in the education of 259 students unless all parties are willing to have open,
honest discussions and are serious about resolving problems.
UTW remains absolutely committed to solving these problems, and has been assured that district
leadership is as well. All participants must be seriously involved and will be held accountable.
The focus now should be on November 8th. Everyone who cares not only about public education, but health
care, transportation, and honest, transparent governance, needs to be actively involved in pouring their energy
into the upcoming elections at the local and state levels. The future of Kansas is in the balance. Our children
and grandchildren will be our judges. I have said and am committed to working with the district in electing
officials, no matter their party affiliation, that share our vision. The next thirty one days need to be an all-out
blitz to assist electing these pragmatic Kansans to office.
Lastly, as soon as the elections are over, UTW will begin planning for and working on our own goals for
2017-18 including negotiations and impacting the district’s budget process. Please join us in the fight.”:
Peace and Grace,
Steve Wentz, UTW President