Nampa contract talks head to mediation

Nampa administrators and union negotiators are about $1 million apart in contract talks.

This week, a federal mediator will try to help the two parties close the gap.

Mediation sessions are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, with salaries a key sticking point.

The district has proposed a 1 percent pay raise. Some newly hired teachers would make $33,400, the state’s minimum teacher salary. For teachers who have been working at the minimum salary, the district proposes a raise to $34,000. The maximum teacher salary would be $56,264.

The Nampa Education Association has proposed a 4.5 percent teacher pay raise, with a minimum salary of $34,172. Teacher salaries would top out at $58,214.

The district’s new budget year began on July 1. While negotiations continue, most Nampa teachers are frozen at their 2015-16 salaries. The sole exception are teachers making the state’s minimum salary, which was increased during the 2016 legislative session.

When a 2016-17 agreement is reached, teachers would receive retroactive pay raises dating back to July 1, district spokeswoman Allison Westfall said.

The mediation sessions are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. at district offices, 619 S. Canyon St., Nampa. The sessions are open to the public, but no public comment will be taken.