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MRH Board Approves Collective Bargaining With Teachers

In a historic move, the MRH Board of Education has approved a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with teachers. It is the first such agreement between the District and the Maplewood Richmond Heights National Education Association (MRHNEA) since the two groups shifted to a Compensation/Benefits Task Force system more than two decades ago.

In October 2023, the MRHNEA indicated its interest in bargaining. Members voted unanimously to move forward with CBA efforts earlier this year. On March 28, the MRH Board of Education certified the election results and approved the agreement, which can be viewed HERE. The CBA is effective from July 1, 2024 through June 30, 2025.  

“The MRHNEA is pleased to have ratified our first collective bargaining agreement with the District in over 20 years,” said Early Childhood Center instructor Annie Rothenberg. “I was honored to lead the Union bargaining team with Rich McCollum to do this important work with the District. We believe it is the first step in addressing some issues impacting teacher morale and retention. I want to express my appreciation for the collaborative effort of the administrators and teachers who participated in the bargaining sessions. We look forward to continuing to make progress in improving working conditions for teachers and student outcomes.”

“The negotiating team spent countless hours in this process, and I’m very appreciative of the collaborative spirit they brought to the negotiations,” said Dr. Shonda Ambers-Phillips, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources. “We are confident that Collective Bargaining will align with our Strategic Plan by improving teacher working conditions, ensuring fair compensation and benefits and enhancing educational quality for students and staff.”

Highlights of the agreement include:

  • New teachers may apply up to 15 years of experience in previous workplaces to their MRH salary schedules

  • Continued commitment by the District to pay 100% of insurance premiums

  • Pre-K teachers will now also receive 250 planning minutes weekly

  • Tuition reimbursement increases to cover the cost of 3 credit hours per semester at the University of Missouri-St. Louis

  • Paid parental leave days will double to 20 per school year

  • The hourly rate for “extra duty” work (i.e. curriculum-writing, student supervision, professional development training) increases to $33/hour

  • One extra day of paid time off for each overnight “expedition” (off-site learning)

The CBA negotiating team includes District administrators Dr. Bonita Jamison, Dr. Shonda Ambers-Phillips, Chris Hoelzer, Nicole Huffman and Dr. Chris McGee; MRHNEA members Annie Rothenberg, Rich McCollum, Scott Greife-Wetenhall, Jenna Muskus, Stacey Schwab, Sarah Macky, Mindy McBride, Tate Haugen, Angie Mitchell, Bethany Nobbe, Amy Williams, and David Ganey; MRH legal counsel Cindy Ormsby; and Kari Estes of the Missouri NEA.