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Portage High School

Portage High School

PORTAGE — The second time was apparently the charm as members of the Portage Association of Teachers ratified the latest version of their contract with Portage Township Schools.

PAT President Debora Porter said teachers voted to approve the contract Dec. 3. It will now go to the School Board for a vote at its Monday meeting.

Teachers last month rejected a tentative agreement by a 3-1 margin, sending the negotiations into the hands of a state-appointed mediator.

At the center of the issue was whether teachers would receive an extra $950 next year based on current year performance in addition to a $1,000 hike in base salary.

The teachers union believed the bonus was agreed to when the existing two-year contract was struck. Administrators disagreed, saying the bonus was not clearly provided for in the contract language. Pay was the only negotiable issue in the second year of the two-year contract.

Porter said the contract approved this week by teachers gives them all a base pay increase of $1,000.

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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.