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Gary Community School Corporation ratifies contract with teachers union but frustration remains

screenshot from Gary Community School Corporation Facebook video
Gary Community School Corporation Manager Dr. Paige McNulty (left) signs the 2022-2023 collective bargaining agreement, as Gary Teachers Union President GlenEva Dunham (right) speaks during a meeting Nov. 15.

The president of the Gary Teachers Union continued to voice her frustration, even as she signed the 2022-2023 teacher contract Tuesday.

It raises the starting salary to $49,885.96. Returning teachers rated "effective" or "highly effective" would get a 2.5-percent salary increase, along with a chance to get up to $7,150 in stipends for retention, attendance and performance. The contract also includes a retirement incentive of up to $22,000 for teachers over the age of 60 who've been with Gary schools for at least 10 years.

But during a two-minute adoption meeting Tuesday, union president GlenEva Dunham said there were still concerns when union members voted the night before. "It was a little confusing, went all the way up to the wire, and so we still have some issues from the last contract. So we just would hope that when we sign a contract, that we mean what we say when we sign the contract and that what's in the contract, we will do it," Dunham said.

She also took issue with the fact that both the public hearing and adoption meeting were scheduled for 9:00 a.m., a time when teachers were unable to attend.

Gary Community School Corporation Manager Dr. Paige McNulty noted that both sides had their attorneys present during negotiations. "So we know we bargained in good faith, and we look forward to upholding that. I'll sign now, and then I'll pass it over to you," McNulty told Dunham.

"I'd just like to rebut that," Dunham interjected. "I don't believe it was in good faith because if it was in good faith, we would have a real public meeting where the public could be here."