GFPS board approves new teacher union contract

The Great Falls Public Schools board approved a collective bargaining agreement for teachers during their April 10 meeting.

The agreement between GFPS and the Great Falls Education Association expires June 30 and negotiations began in January. The new agreement runs this summer through summer 2025.

The agreement includes changes and additions to “support the district’s efforts to provide high quality working
conditions for its employees. It further reflects current economic and political climates,” according to the staff report.

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Teacher salaries are paid out of several funds to include general fund, special education and other federal monies.

The teacher salary budget for 2022-2023 is $44,204,192.

The agreement includes a 4 percent base increase, which equates to an estimated $1,768,168 increase for the 2023-2024 school year, according to the staff report.

The 4 percent increase on the base for the 2024-2025 school year is an estimated $1,838,934 increase.

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For the 2023-2024 school year, with a 4-percent increase on the base with steps and lanes, a starting teacher salary at step two is $39,136 and the top salary is $79,410.

For the 2024-2025 schoolyear, the starting salary for the same position is $40,701 and the top salary is $82,586, according to the staff report.

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The estimates are based on the number of current full time teachers and doesn’t include payroll costs such as insurance and retirement.

The agreement includes compensating special educations through two case management days in addition to the 187 days in their contract, paid at their daily rate, according to the staff report.

The district currently employs 81 special education teachers who qualify for that compensation. At their daily rate, the change will be an estimated $48,046 maximum increase to the district in the 2023-2024 school year and $49,968 for the 2024-2025 school year, according to the staff report.

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Under the new agreement, the hourly rate for teachers increases from $20 to $22 without students and $25 to $27 with students, for an estimated increase to the district’s general fund budget of $29,254 in both years of the contract.

Elementary track coaches and assistant coaches are added at the rate of 0.01245 on the base salary, for $14,096 for the 2023-2024 school year and $14,660 for the 2024-2025 school year.

The changes in the budget for the next school year will be presented to the school board in August.