STILLMAN VALLEY (WIFR) -- Teachers will get a raise, but they'll have wait a few years to get it. As the Meridian School District continues to dig themselves out of a budget deficit.
School Board members approved the four year deal which includes a pay freeze for the first 3 years, and a raise in 20-18. Another sticking point was a cap for insurance coverage. Superintendent P.J. Caposey says this deal is fiscally responsible, considering the major budget cuts the district was forced to make earlier this year. Both sides say they're ready to move forward and work together to do great things for their students.
"Both sides feel that we came to an agreement that is livable and workable, I definitely would say its not a total win for the teachers but we in the situation that the district is in right now we did what we could do," said Carolyn Timm, President of the Stillman Valley Education Association.
"Being on a pay freeze either soft or hard freeze at this year at some point in this contract I think that just shows their dedication to students and to the community and doing whats best for the community at large and not just what's best for individuals," said Caposey.
Both sides were able to reach a deal without a lawyer dictating their negotiations. Caposey says the district is still struggling financially so there's no new money in this agreement to be spent on salaries.
The school district is still facing an estimated budget deficit of more than $800,000 dollars. That's after the board was forced to cut several staff members and middle school sports teams.