Columbia teachers will receive salary increase next year

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education approved a new compensation plan at Thursday's regular work session. The board voted to increase teacher salaries.

Community Relations Director for Columbia Public Schools, Michelle Baumstark, said the plan has been a long term goal for both the teachers and the board.

"What it represents is about a 4.5 percent increase for our teachers, including raising the starting salary for first year teachers," Baumstark said.

Baumstark said the new plan will be about a four million dollar increase in the budget for salaries.

"The plan also includes continuation of full payment, 100 percent benefits for our employees, which is something that is pretty special that our Board of Education does for its employees," Baumstark said.

The Columbia Missouri National Education Association worked closely with the board to reach an agreement on this new plan.

The CMNEA president, Kathy Steinhoff, said the group had hoped to see even more of an increase in the base salary but said she is still happy with the outcome.

"We're very excited about the salary schedule that has changed. We have been very actively involved, and it has been many years in the making," Steinhoff said.

The school board posted a complete breakdown of the new numbers on the Columbia Public Schools website.