OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — After a year filled with challenges, the Omaha Public Schools Board of Education is saying "thank you" to teachers by giving them a small pay increase over the next two years.
From masks and sanitizer, to online teaching, to now welcoming back students five days a week, teachers have played a crucial role at Omaha Public Schools. Their dedication to students was not lost on Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan.
“Our teachers' commitment and the personal sacrifices they’ve made are recognized, appreciated, and I believe reflected in the contract details you will see later tonight," said Logan.
The school board unanimously approved a contract that will add $1,500 to the base pay for teachers over the next two years. Starting in the 2021-22 school year this fall, $500 will be added to the base pay. An additional $1,000 increase will be added to the base pay for the 2022-23 school year.
This makes it so teachers who are starting off at OPS will make $44,000 per year.
Teachers with higher education and more years with OPS will see an even higher increase next school year and the year after.
Also in the contract was a 5% bonus for special education teachers. These educators are in high demand across the country, and the district is hoping this will make Omaha more competitive.
While the Omaha Education Association was on board with the future pay bump, they say right now, they really just want to make sure educators are safe.
“OEA acknowledges the fact that OPS and its leadership has no control on when staff are eligible to receive the vaccine," said OEA President Robert Miller. "But we hope that while they're in conversation with those that can give a 'yes,' that they continue to make the ask to get educators the needed vaccine."
Miller also said he had major concerns about spacing for educators and students as students begin returning to in-person learning five days a week on Tuesday.