ASHLAND — The Ashland City Schools Board of Education unanimously agreed to enter into a three-year collective bargaining agreement with the Ashland City Teachers Association at a special meeting Monday night.

Representatives from the school district and teachers union have been negotiating the new three-year contract since March, which includes an annual base pay raise of 1.5-2% and bonuses for teachers related to COVID-19. 

School board president Zach Truax praised the teachers union at the meeting Monday for being good partners in the negotiating process. 

“They were professional in every way, they were expedient, business-like. And that’s all you can ask of people,” Truax said. “I feel like they negotiated their end very well, I think both sides understood each other and that’s why we were able to come to an agreement so quickly.” 

Ashland teachers will receive a $2,750 COVID-19 bonus this year and a $1,750 annual bonus for the duration of the contract. The bonus will be helpful in offsetting healthcare costs, union co-president Flory Mauriocourt said.

The previous contract negotiation in 2019 extended through the summer and into the school year, and was marked by frequent disagreements and standstills.

This time, however, negotiations were much smoother, Mauriocourt said.

“It’s good to have a nice, healthy relationship where you can work together and you’re not butting heads, you’re working,” Mauriocourt said. “You might not always see eye-to-eye, that’s life, but you’re still working together and say “Hey, how can we work this out?'”

The Education section is brought to you by Ashland Family YMCA.

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