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updated: 9/12/2013 4:15 PM

New teacher contract in Fremont Elementary District 79

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Fremont Elementary District 79 teachers and other staffers will receive pay raises averaging about 2 percent over the next four years, under the terms of a new contract.

The school board approved the deal in an emergency meeting Wednesday night. Members wanted to vote before the next scheduled meeting on Sept. 23, district spokeswoman Margaret Van Duch said.

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The contract applies to 154 employees. Most are teachers, but some psychologists, social workers and other employees also are included in the group.

The teachers union ratified the contract Monday, officials said. The deal runs through August 2017.

Negotiations had begun in January. Van Duch called them "amicable."

The deal calls for wages to increase about 2.7 percent the first year, Van Duch said. Over the entire 4-year contract, salaries will increase about 2 percent, on average, Van Duch said.

A first-year teacher with a bachelor's degree will earn $38,344 a year under the deal, officials said. A teacher at the top of the pay scale will earn $96,725 annually.

The contract includes a few changes from prior deals.

For example, the district has capped the amount of employees' health-insurance costs it will pay annually.

Also, the school year will be extended slightly by 2017 to add three more days for staff development and meetings. Student attendance isn't affected, Van Duch said.

The contract will be made available for public review later this month online at fsd79.org.

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