LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Jefferson County Teachers Association has reached an agreement with JCPS on a tentative two-year agreement.

The district will still have to recommend the deal to the school board, but this agreement follows months of negotiations and tension between the two groups.

“We have negotiated a fair agreement at a time when state and federal resources have been diminishing," said JCTA president Brent McKim. "I’m pleased to report that the JCTA Board of Directors has unanimously recommended approval of the tentative agreement to the full JCTA membership.” 

Under the agreement, teachers will continue receiving step raises on top of a 2.25 percent raise over the next two years. The salary and step increases are retroactive to July 1, 2016.

“I appreciate the work of our district negotiating team and JCTA representatives to work through the negotiation process to come up with an agreement,” JCPS Superintendent Dr. Hargens said. “Our teachers work incredibly hard every day to make Vision 2020 a reality, and we’re excited to make this a great school year for our students.”

Here are the highlights of the deal, per JCTA:

  • A 2.25% raise is provided over two years (.75% in 2016-2017, and 1.5% in 2017-2018).
  • Teachers will continue to receive step increases.
  • Salary and step increases will be retroactive to July 1, 2016.
  • New language will be added to Article 5 (Employee Rights) stating, "The Employer acknowledges that all Employees have a right to steps."
  • Pay for out-of-county band camp is more than doubled by adding it to the extra service pay schedule at a level of ".2" effective July 1, 2016.
  • New language is added to Article 28 (Miscellaneous) indicating the district will pay 60% of the cost for each of the four NBCT components upon proof of completion.  (Teachers who participate in this reimbursement must agree to teach in JCPS for at least four years.  Should such teachers voluntarily leave prior to fulfilling this commitment, the teachers must reimburse the district on a prorated basis.)
  • New language is added to Article 28 (Miscellaneous) indicating the number of years of service recognized from other districts will be increased from a maximum of 10 years to a maximum of 20 years for annually-identified mutually-agreed-upon high-needs areas.
  • In Article 16 (Transfers), the number of schools to which teachers can request a voluntary transfer will be doubled from a maximum of five schools to a maximum of ten schools.
  • In Article 16 (Transfers), the timeline for teacher transfers and overstaff placement is moved earlier in the school year to allow schools more time to interview candidates.  (The transfer process will begin 22 days after the first Monday in March.)  Other transfer and overstaffing dates will be similarly moved earlier.
  • In Article 16 (Transfers), the value of seniority during the transfer process will be strengthened by requiring that after July 1 (until the transfer window closes, 21 days before the first contract day for teachers), vacancies will be filled only by teachers interviewed from the current voluntary and involuntary transfer lists (no new hires).
  • To protect experienced teachers from being pressured into overstaffing themselves, new language is added to Article 16 (Transfers) indicating that teachers may not voluntarily overstaff themselves after their fourth year of teaching in the district.
  • New language is added to Article 28 (Miscellaneous) indicating that the relocation stipend for teachers moving to JCPS from 100-200 miles away will be increased to $2,000 and from more than 200 miles away to $4,000.
  • New language is added to Article 4 (Association Rights) providing that if the state legislature prohibits teachers from having their dues conveniently deducted through payroll deduction, the Employer will provide the necessary information to the Association for members to be able to have their dues transmitted via electronic fund transfer.
  • New language is added to Article 28 (Miscellaneous) indicating that if the district is to pay all costs to Bellarmine University for a teacher to voluntarily participate in and receive college credit via the Bellarmine Literacy Project, the teacher must agree to teach in a Bellarmine Literacy Project (BLP) school for three years.  Teachers may transfer between BLP schools.  Teachers may transfer out of a BLP school to a school not participating in the BLP, but if a teacher does so, the teacher must reimburse the district, on a pro-rated basis (based on the number of years out of the three-year commitment actually served in a BLP school), for the cost of the teacher's participation in the BLP.  Current BLP participants will have a 30-day period of time to opt out of the program without penalty, beginning when the final contract is ratified by both the school board and the JCTA membership.

As of Thursday night, this agreement is just between JCPS and JCTA. The district still has to work with its other employee unions to reach those agreements.

JCPS does have a "Me Too" clause that, in the past, has applied an agreement for one union to all others.

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