Newport Teachers, School Board At An Impasse In Contract Negotiations

Nov 5, 2018

Credit James Sarmiento / Flickr

For the past few years, the town of Newport has rejected increases to teacher salaries.

These are known as "step increases." They're based on the number of years worked, and add about an extra $1,200 each year to a teacher's salary.

Lisa Ferrigno is the co-president of the Newport Teacher's Association. She says the lack of salary increases means more teachers are leaving. 

"We're losing teachers who have been here five, 10, 15 years because of the off-step problem,” Ferrigno said.

A number of teachers are six or seven steps off, Ferrigno says. Last year, 30 teachers either retired or left. There are 98 teaching positions in the district. 

The school board says there should also be an increase in base pay for new teachers.

Average pay at Newport schools is one of the lowest in the region, at around $44,000.

The teacher's association and school board will meet next week, along with a neutral third party. Within 30 days of that meeting, the third party will write out a report with recommendations based on the facts presented by the teachers association and school board.