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District 196 School Board approves contract with teachers and nurses

The District 196 School Board at a special meeting Sept. 3 approved a new two-year agreement with members of Dakota County United Educators (DCUE), representing the more than 2,100 teachers and school nurses in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Public Schools. DCUE members ratified the tentative agreement in a membership vote Aug. 29.

The approved contract is retroactive to July 1, 2019 and runs through June 30, 2021. It provides a 2.55 percent improvement to the salary schedule each year, and a 5 percent increase in the district contribution to health care insurance in the first year of the contract followed by a 2 percent increase in the second year.    

A first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree will earn $42,968 under the contract this year, while an experienced teacher with a master’s degree at the top of the schedule will earn $78, 968 in base salary and up to $8,318 in longevity pay.

“I am pleased to have a settlement that will keep us competitive in attracting and retaining the best teachers and school nurses,” said Superintendent Mary M. Kreger. “Teachers are the biggest factor in the achievement of every child. District 196 is a high achieving, district of choice because of the range of opportunities we provide and the high-quality people we have working with our students.”

With approximately 3,500 full- and part-time employees, District 196 is one of the largest employers in Dakota County. Earlier this year, District 196 was named to Forbes’ inaugural list of Best-in-State Employers, ranking 12th of 51 employers selected from Minnesota and the only school district on the state’s list. Forbes and Statistica compiled the list based on surveys of 80,000 Americans working for employers with at least 500 employees.