Mukilteo School District teachers urge elected officials to renegotiate their salaries at a school board meeting back in June 2018. On Monday, they got a deal they like. (Andrea Brown / Herald file)

Mukilteo School District teachers urge elected officials to renegotiate their salaries at a school board meeting back in June 2018. On Monday, they got a deal they like. (Andrea Brown / Herald file)

Mukilteo schools may soon have state’s highest paid teachers

Teachers ratified a new contract Monday and the Board of Education will consider it next month.

MUKILTEO — Teachers in Mukilteo public schools have overwhelmingly embraced a new three-year contract boosting starting pay for new teachers and pushing salaries of seasoned instructors to the highest in the state.

Members of the Mukilteo Education Association on Monday approved terms of the collective bargaining agreement which covers wages and a plethora of other issues including reducing class sizes in lower grades and adding supports for special needs students.

The Mukilteo School Board of Education is expected to act on it July 15. The new contract would take effect Sept. 1 and run through Aug. 31, 2022.

Ratification of a deal in June — coincidentally on the eve of the final school day — is unusual because typically such negotiations between districts and unions don’t wrap up until August.

It’s an even bigger feat in Mukilteo where 10 months ago teachers made a full-court press for pay hikes following an infusion of state dollars as part of a resolution to the McCleary school funding case. They protested, picketed, talked of strikes and even took a vote of no confidence in Superintendent Marci Larsen before settling for one-time raises of around 13 percent.

“The negotiations this year were a far cry from last year,” said Dana Wiebe, president of the nearly 1,100-member association. “We wanted to heal what had happened in the past. I don’t think any of us wanted it to go so awry but it did.

“Together, we worked very hard to get a June agreement that would do great things for our teachers and our students,” she said. “In my opinion, we did that.”

Both sides were interested in getting it done smoothly, said district spokesman Andy Muntz.

“We’re happy that we’ve got an agreement,” he said. “We’re also happy that we were able to get the tentative agreement done so early.”

Under the tentative agreement, the annual salary in the 2019-20 school year for a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree would be $60,000, up from the current $58,481. The roughly 2.6 percent increase will put the level of pay closer to the $62,688 salary offered to new teachers in neighboring Edmonds School District.

At the other end of the scale, a teacher with 12 or more years experience and a master’s degree, would see their annual wages climb from $111,348 to $120,776, an increase of about 8.5 percent.

The contract also provides them a $3,000 stipend for earning a master’s and will push their salary to $123,776 and make them the highest paid in the state. Currently, the top mark of $123,291 — with a master’s stipend — is paid to the most experienced teachers in the Everett School District.

The deal calls for across-the-board raises of at least 2.5 percent in the second and third years of the contract.

“Our goal was to be competitive with our neighboring districts because we had people leaving for Everett and Edmonds,” Wiebe said. “The agreement recommits Mukilteo as a leader in professional compensation, which will help us be competitive at attracting and retaining teachers.”

The leader of the Everett Education Association applauded the accomplishment of Mukilteo teachers and said their gains on salaries will be part of the conversation next year when Everett teachers seek a new contract.

“I’m really happy for Mukilteo teachers,” said Jared Kink, president of the Everett teacher’s union. “I’ve always said every teacher deserves a great, fair and competitive salary.”

Kink and association members have long prided themselves on working with the district to offer the state’s highest salary to the most experienced teachers.

“If that’s no longer the situation, then the Everett School District and the Everett Education Association have got some work to do,” he said.

Terms of the tentative agreement in Mukilteo apply to teachers and certificated employees, not paraeducators or classified employees, Muntz said.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @dospueblos.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
On I-5 in Everett, traffic nightmare is reminder we’re ‘very vulnerable’

After a police shooting shut down the freeway, commutes turned into all-night affairs. It was just a hint of what could be in a widespread disaster.

Anthony Brock performs at Artisans PNW during the first day of the Fisherman’s Village Music Fest on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At downtown Everett musical festival: ‘Be weird and dance with us’

In its first night, Fisherman’s Village brought together people who “might not normally be in the same room together” — with big acts still to come.

Two troopers place a photo of slain Washington State Patrol trooper Chris Gadd outside District 7 Headquarters about twelve hours after Gadd was struck and killed on southbound I-5 about a mile from the headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Judge reduces bail for driver accused of killing Marysville trooper

After hearing from Raul Benitez Santana’s family, a judge decreased bail to $100,000. A deputy prosecutor said he was “very disappointed.”

Community Transit leaders, from left, Chief Communications Officer Geoff Patrick, Zero-Emissions Program Manager Jay Heim, PIO Monica Spain, Director of Maintenance Mike Swehla and CEO Ric Ilgenfritz stand in front of Community Transit’s hydrogen-powered bus on Monday, May 13, 2024, at the Community Transit Operations Base in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New hydrogen, electric buses get trial run in Snohomish County

As part of a zero-emission pilot program from Community Transit, the hydrogen bus will be the first in the Puget Sound area.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Video: Man charged at trooper, shouting ‘Who’s the boss?’ before shooting

The deadly shooting shut down northbound I-5 near Everett for hours. Neither the trooper nor the deceased had been identified as of Friday.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Road rage, fatal police shooting along I-5 blocks traffic near Everett

An attack on road workers preceded a report of shots fired Thursday, snarling freeway traffic in the region for hours.

The Port of Everett and Everett Marina on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Is Port of Everett’s proposed expansion a ‘stealth tax?’ Judge says no

A Snohomish resident lost a battle in court this week protesting what he believes is a misleading measure from the Port of Everett.

Pablo Garduno and the team at Barbacoa Judith’s churn out pit-roasted lamb tacos by the dozen at the Hidden Gems Weekend Market on Sunday, April 28, 2024, at Boom City in Tulalip, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Eating our way through Tulalip’s Hidden Gems weekend market

Don’t miss the pupusas, pit-roasted lamb tacos, elotes and even produce for your next meal.

Reed Macdonald, magniX CEO. Photo: magniX
Everett-based magniX appoints longtime aerospace exec as new CEO

Reed Macdonald will take the helm at a pivotal time for the company that builds electric motors for airplanes.

A guitarist keeps rhythm during Lovely Color’s set on the opening night of Fisherman’s Village on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Black Lab in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
No matter what music you’re into, Fisherman’s Village has a hook for you

From folk to psychedelic pop to hip-hop, here’s a quick guide to artists you might want to check out in downtown Everett.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.