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Pike Township school board approves contract with teachers

A one-year agreement was ratified Thursday by the MSD of Pike Township school board.

INDIANAPOLIS — After months of contentious negotiations, Pike Township teachers and the school district have finally reached an agreement on a new collective bargaining contract.  

The one-year contract was ratified Thursday night by the school board.  

“It’s a sense of accomplishment and it’s a sense of relief,” said Dr. Terry Webster, MSD of Pike Township school board president. 

The new one-year contract will give teachers an average raise of 5.2% and more than $1.2 million in stipends. The minimum starting salary is $45,000 and the most a teacher can make under the contract is $88,962. 

Plus, teachers will now get paid more when working athletic events and filling in when needed in classrooms.  

RELATED: Pike Township teachers reach tentative agreement with district, parents demand leadership changes

According to the district, its focus was on raising wages for “middle year” teachers with eight to 22 years of experience.  

“This was not a contract that was going to fix all of the issues financially for our teachers, but what it will do is give us a first step to make this better over the course of the next few years,” said Chris Ludy, Pike Classroom Teachers Association president. “It’s for the greater good of the teachers, which then means it’s for the greater good of the students.” 

This new agreement comes after multiple adjustments to the school day due to staff absences and a petition to remove Superintendent Dr. Flora Reichanadter. 

Last week, the teachers association also presented a survey saying 99 percent of its members had “no confidence” in the superintendent’s leadership.  

RELATED: Anderson school board approves new teacher contract

Ludy said in the upcoming year, he would like to see everyone work on communication, transparency and trust.  

“If we can work on those three issues, and I know everybody wants to work on those three issues, the sky is the limit,” he said.  

Reichanadter was not present at Thursday’s meeting. The school board took action last week regarding her contract.  

“Last week, the board approved not to renew the superintendent’s auto-renew contract, and at this point we are in discussions about the future of the superintendent,” Webster said.  

Webster would not comment further on her absence. He said the district is currently focused on moving forward and building trust. 

“In all my years of being in Pike, this is probably the most contentious year I’ve seen, so my hope for Pike community is that we can rebuild, regather, regroup and reconcile,” Webster said.