By Tippi Rasp Staff Writer

An agreement approved by school board members Thursday will do more than provide a monetary incentive for Enid teachers, an Enid Education Association representative said.

"It's a morale boost for teachers," said Marlene Gelsthorpe, teacher and spokeswoman for Enid Education Association, after learning the school board approved teacher contracts Thursday.

A higher-than-usual fund balance allowed the district to raise pay, offer new stipends and increase other stipends for Enid Public Schools certified employees, an administrator said after the board approved the contracts for this year.

Included in the new contracts is an agreement to pay teachers $12 an hour for extra duty assignments, including duty during lunch, before and after school and Saturday school.

Gelsthorpe said the agreement to pay teachers for extra duty will allow more planning time for teachers. Teachers currently rotate duty assignments, but the extra pay could allow teachers who like extra duty assignments to volunteer for more shifts in the future.

Assistant Superintendent Ruth Ann Erdner said the extra pay for lunch duty has been requested every year at least for the last 21 years, but has never been included in the agreement.

"We've been working on the fund balance," Erdner said. "We'd been wanting to do more. This was an opportunity to work with our teachers to give some raises and we felt like they were significant."

Teachers approved the proposed contracts, 387-7.

Teachers also received step pay increases plus up to $1,000 raises depending on experience. The step pay raises vary from $400 for first-year teachers with a bachelor's degree to $1,000 for 30-year teachers with a bachelor's. In addition, teachers with up to four years experience will get an extra $400; teachers with five to 11 years experience, $600; teachers with 12 to 24 years experience, $800; and teachers with 25 to 30 years, $1,000.

There are new stipends for junior and senior sponsors, academic and constitution team sponsors, chairman of the North Central Accredita-tion process and for Schools Attuned advisers.

Stipend increases will go to department heads at the high school and junior high cheer coaches. Traveling stipends also will increase for certified workers who travel to three or more schools.

The approved contracts also allow more time to present change of status information to administrators for salary increases. That change affects teachers acquiring additional degrees or certification which raises pay.

Erdner and Gelsthorpe both said they were happy to come to an agreement this early. The agreement between teachers and the board at times has been held up in negotiations until December. Contracts for certified employees were approved in early November last year.

Although the board approved certified contracts, there is no agreement yet for support employees.

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