The board conducted a ratification vote during Monday night's regular meeting - the last meeting before the start of school next Tuesday.

The BEA membership today is in the second day of a 2-day ratification vote. The lone dissenting vote on the school board came from Trustee John Conely, who feels that the teachers are already compensated fairly and the money – or at least up to $300,000 of it - should go toward paying and recruiting bus drivers. The district currently has a shortage of drivers, resulting in the need to consolidate some bus runs, which in turn results in longer bus rides for students.

Superintendent Greg Gray tells WHMI that if teachers ratify the agreement, they will get a salary increase that totals 2%. Gray says the cost to the district for the salary hike will be just under $500,000. The teachers also got a 2% pay raise last year. However, Gray points out that even with the 4% increase in the last two years, Brighton teachers are still paid slightly less than they were at the start of the recent recession in 2008. During those lean periods, teachers took a pay cut of 7% one year and pay freezes two other times. As a result, he says, they are still playing catch-up with their former salaries.

The compensation under the pending agreement ranges from about $41,000 for an incoming teacher with a bachelor’s degree and no experience to a veteran teacher at the top of the pay scale, who will earn about $82,000. The teachers are in year four of their 5-year contract, and the vote is on an annual pay and benefits re-opener. Gray says they should know the results of the teacher ratification vote by the end of the day. (TT)