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Ironton board, teachers ratify new contract

The Ironton Board of Education gave its approval Tuesday evening to a new contract with the teachers union.

The union, the Ironton Education Association, unanimously approved the contract late last week.

The new 2-year contract takes effect Aug. 1. It allows for pay raises of 5 percent the first year and two percent the second. Retiring teachers may also receive three additional severance days at the end of their employment. The contract also allows paychecks to be direct deposited into their personal bank accounts as opposed to a getting a traditional paper checks.

IEA President Mary Ann Philabaun said she was pleased with the way both sides worked together in getting a new contract approved after only two meetings during a one-month negotiation period.

"Everything went smoothly and we're very pleased to have it over before school even starts," Philabaun said.

Her sentiments were echoed by Superintendent Dean Nance, who publicly praised Philabaun and the teachers' negotiating team for their spirit of cooperation.

"I'm thankful for their cooperation," he said. "It does seem as if the employees have adopted the mission of our school. I think the board and the associations have developed a level of trust and have come together for the common good."

The contract for non-certified employees has a "me, too" clause that allows those employees to benefit from the same pay raises as teachers, so non-certified workers will also receive the five and 2-percent pay hikes.

Ironton Support Staff Association President Teresa Bowen said the 30-plus member non-certified employees' union opted a month ago to roll over their contract from last year.

"We are very pleased with the administration right now," Bowen said. "We feel like we have a good relationship."

The new one-year contract for the ISSA takes effect September 1.

This is the second time in recent years that the employees' contracts have been ratified before school starts in the city district.

The board also opted Tuesday evening to extend the contracts for both Nance and Bill Dressel, director of federal programs.