Camden School District teachers have ratified a new contract, district officials announced Tuesday, following a vote last weekend.
The 1,500 members of the Camden Education Association (CEA), which includes teachers and school support employees, initially approved the contract last month.
One of the two contracts approved is for 2013-15, with a second covering 2015-18. They include retroactive salary compensation as well as salary increases. They also allow for more flexibility in scheduling, to give students more instructional time, as well as modifications that give all teachers the same amount of time off each workday for lunch and classroom prep.
The contract doubles the pay that teachers and other members receive for attending voluntary professional development programs.
Overall, salaries rose about 2 percent, said district spokesman Brendan Lowe. The starting salary for a teacher will rise from $51,887.00 to $53,184.18. The maximum salary for a teacher will rise from $100,717.92 to $103,446.69.
Salaries for community school coordinators rose $5,000, he said. Community school coordinators function as the contact point for all families, answering questions and connecting them with resources.
Camden, the state's lowest-performing school district, has been under state supervision since 2013.
Myron Plotkin, New Jersey Education Association representative and negotiator for the union, said in a statement that the contract would improve the daily working conditions of its members.
"The contract negotiated is a fair and equitable contract for both sides," he said. "While neither side got all that it wanted, both sides were successful in obtaining changes that were beneficial to its goals in the negotiations."
CEA president Robert Farmer also said he was satisfied with the outcome.