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Teachers get wage increase for next school year
MONROE - Teachers and other non-administrative staff in the Monroe school district will get a 1.46 percent total base wage increase for the 2014-15 school year, under an agreement reached by the school board and the Monroe Education Association. Last year's increase was around 1.28 percent, according to Ron Olson, the district's business manager.

MEA ratified the contract agreement Friday and the school board approved it Monday.

The increase represents the maximum increase possible under Act 10, passed in 2012, which doesn't allow negotiated wages above the state's annual consumer price index. Act 10 also doesn't allow the contract to exceed one year.

The agreement still allows for individuals to impact their wages based on years of experience and education level.

The increase will cost the district $330,000, but is already accounted for in the 2014-15 budget.

District Administrator Cory Hirsbrunner said the agreement process improved from last year, when the two parties took until November to settle the 2013-14 contract. This is the second negotiation the district has made with MEA under the Act 10 guidelines.

"The work we have done together throughout the year in a concerted and proactive manner helped the process go much better this year," Hirsbrunner said in news release.

School board member Jim Plourde abstained from the vote because his wife is covered under the contract.