By Wes Wolfe
Nassau County is making moves, working to better compensate the school district’s teachers. A new agreement with the local teachers’ union is headed in that direction.
The deal makes starting salaries higher than any of Nassau’s surrounding counties, “as well as our Georgia neighbors,” Superintendent Kathy Burns said.
Salaries are set to increase 6% over the 2021-2022 level.
“It was quite the incredible turnout,” Nassau Teachers Association (NTA) President Chris Pagel said, regarding NTA membership’s vote on the proposal. He told the board 78% of the membership turned out, with 98% supporting the new contract.
Newly elected Nassau County School Board member Curtis Gaus reiterated comments made at an earlier meeting that the Board values what the teachers do every day. “We want you to know that we hear you about salary,” Gaus said. “I’m really thankful for where we are at this point, and hopefully we can build on it in the future.”
The board also signed off on a memorandum of agreement between the Nassau Educational Support Personnel Association (NESPA) and the school district on bus routes. This is the latest plan in Nassau County’s attempt to overcome a lack of people and buses for the number of students needing to be transported around the county.
The deal provides additional salary to veteran, full-time drivers “for the inconvenience of being removed from their regular/bid-upon route.”
“I just want to say that our educators and our paraprofessionals, our aides, our bus drivers, who are working day-in and day-out with our (exceptional student education, ESE) students, they are so appreciated,” said the other newly elected Board member, Shannon Hogue. “What they do, it is noticed. It is highly appreciated.”
The Board unanimously approved these two agreements.