Teachers in the Jackson Local School District will receive annual pay raises during each year of a new three-year contract.
The school system's Board of Education approved the new contract Friday. It expires June 30, 2016 and is retroactive to July 1.
The pay raise schedule is 1 percent in the first year, 1.5 percent in the second and 2 percent for the final year.
"It is your ability to pay at the time you negotiate," Superintendent Chris DiLoreto explained. "What we try to do is balance a competitive contract within the Stark County marketplace with being fiscally responsible."
Annual base salary for a beginning teacher with a bachelor's degree will be $34,668. Along with scheduled pay raises, teachers will receive lump-sum payments of 1 percent of their base salary in the first year of the contract and 0.5 percent during the second year.
"That does not go on to their base salary going forward," DiLoreto said. "There is no lump-sum payment in the third year."
And, "all employees will pay 12 percent of the health-care premium during the course of the contract," DiLoreto said. "Previously, it wasn't tied to a percentage. They were paying one month of their premium. It is an increase (new contract) without a question."
Attempts to contact Susan Ray, president of the teachers' union, were not successful.
Negotiations began in April. One element that prolonged negotiations, according to DiLoreto, was the inclusion of provisions concerning new state mandates for teacher evaluations.
"We had to work through the teacher evaluation process," DiLoreto said. "That is part of all negotiations."