GPS holds off on renewing teacher contract | Education

GPS holds off on renewing teacher contract

From left, Gering board member Brady Shaul and board president BJ Peters before a Board of Education meeting on Dec. 14, the last of the year.

The Gering Public Schools Board of Education tabled the 2020-2021 Negotiated Professional Agreement, a working contract between teachers and the district, after discussing the agreement for about an hour in a closed session.

The agreement would’ve raised the base salary for teachers from $36,500 to $37,000. While some version of teacher agreement is likely to pass the board before the February deadline, the vote to table comes as the district grapples with financial troubles brought on by years of declining enrollment and the sharp increase in personal costs brought on by COVID-19.

While financial troubles played a role, Gering school board president BJ Peters said the tabled agreement was also speckled with inaccuracies.

“We found that there were some mistakes in that (extra duty) schedule, not all the positions were listed,” Peters said. “We didn’t want to approve a schedule that wasn’t complete and correct. So we felt it was best to hold off.”

Gering Education Association President Shelly Muggli said in an email with the Star-Herald she wasn’t surprised the board tabled the agreement. She said she felt there was still plenty of time before the deadline to work out an agreement.

The next board meeting is scheduled for mid-January.

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