BAR HARBOR — The school committees in the Mount Desert Island Regional School System towns and the MDI Education Association, the teachers union, have ratified a new three-year contract for teachers.
It is retroactive to Sept. 1.
The new contract provides teachers with a 3.77 percent salary increase this year, a 5.85 percent raise next year and a 6.39 percent raise the following year. That is an aggregate salary increase of 16.01 percent over the three years of the contract. It represents a compromise between the union’s most recent proposed increase of 17 percent and the school board’s offer of 15 percent.
The schools will continue to pay 82 percent of teachers’ health insurance premiums in each of the three years of the contract.
Jessica Stewart, chair of the school system board, said in a prepared statement that the MDI-area schools “provide among the best educational offerings and highest student achievement in the area and, indeed, in the state.”
“In recognition of the essential role that excellent teachers play in maintaining a high performing district, the board’s position is that all district teachers should be paid near or above the 90th percentile of teacher salaries in the state. This contract accomplishes that.
“Likewise,” Stewart said, “this contract will place (our) teachers on par with districts that are similar in achievement and property valuation. Especially given that the [federal] Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) is set at 5.9 percent for the coming year, the board felt that the salary increases contained in this contract were both right and necessary in order to retain and attract the excellent teachers that are the keystone of this great school district.”
The contract covers teachers, guidance counselors and librarians in the five Mount Desert Island and Trenton elementary schools and MDI High School.
* Editor’s note: This story has been updated.