Together, the Exeter Township School District and the Exeter Township Education Association (ETEA) announced they have agreed to a new four-year teachers’ contract to begin on July 1, 2022 and end on June 30, 2026. The board and teachers’ union met numerous times to work together to raise a first-year teacher’s salary by $1,660 to $50,156, allowing Exeter to be more competitive with Berks County school districts. During the 2021-22 school year, on average, the 17 other Berks County districts offered their first-year teachers a starting salary of $49,722, while Exeter offered $48,496 (Source PSEA). Exeter Township Education Association President Lowell Keebler said that he believes the new contract will help provide teacher stability and retention over the next four years. “We value the relationship we have established with the Exeter Township School District Board and community, and we look forward to continuing to provide a high quality educational experience to the students of Exeter Township,” he said.
All teachers will receive a $1,660 yearly salary increase in addition to their annual years of service raise. The district will see an increase in the portion of the budget that is dedicated to teachers' salaries of 3.5% in the first year, 3.4% in the second year, 3.3% in the third year and 3.1% in the final year of the four-year contract if the current faculty all remained at status quo. Exeter Township Board of School Directors’ President Ann Hearing said, “The board worked diligently on this new contract with taxpayers and teachers in mind and students at the heart of our negotiations. With the current teacher shortage, attracting and retaining high-quality teachers to work in Exeter and educate our students was just as important to us as minimizing the impact that salary increases have on the Exeter taxpayer.”
The current teachers’ contract will expire on June 30, 2022. The new contract was passed by a 8-0 vote with one abstention during the June 28, 2022 Board of School Directors’ voting meeting.
During the meeting, the board also approved a new three-year contract for Act 93 employees, providing a 3.25% annual raise for Exeter administrators. They also approved a new three-year contract for food service employees, increasing the starting rate for a general cafeteria worker from $12 to $15 per hour. Confidential secretaries will also see an increase of $1.25 per hour as their starting salary is raised to $21.50 per hour following the approval of their new three-year contract.
All new contracts will go into effect on July 1, 2022 and will be posted on the district’s website at https://exetersd.org/hr/collective-bargaining-agreements.