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The Madison School District and the teachers union reached a tentative agreement Tuesday to increase base wages for teachers and district employees this year by the maximum allowable amount.

Madison Teachers Inc. said in a Facebook post late Tuesday the School Board agreed to provide a 2.44% base-wage increase for employees, which is the highest possible bump to base wages for the 2019-20 school year under Act 10, which limited the power of public-sector unions.

The tentative agreement comes a day after representatives of the union presented a petition to the School Board signed by 4,000 people in support of the 2.44% wage increase before the body went into closed session Monday evening to discuss negotiations.

All employees represented by MTI’s bargaining units, which includes positions like teachers, special education assistants and clerical assistants, are covered under the tentative agreement, according to the Facebook post.

Earlier this year, the district initially proposed a 0.5% raise to base wages, but the board bumped it up to 2.32% over the summer after receiving more-than-expected funds from the state and shuffling around some additional money.

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But the union kept pushing the district to cover the remaining 0.12% gap, which is expected to cost about $400,000, arguing years of flat or small base-wage increases and higher employee costs for benefits over the years had eaten into compensation.

In addition to a higher base wage, the district has said that, on the average, employees will receive another 2% salary increase this year based on a salary schedule that awards experience and education.

But MTI has said about 1,000 employees, including some of the lowest paid, won’t receive more money through the salary schedule, arguing a full base-wage bump is necessary to keep up with the cost of living.

The agreement won’t take effect until approved by both the union members and the School Board, according to the Facebook post.

All employees represented by MTI’s bargaining units, which includes positions like teachers, special education assistants and clerical assistants, are covered under the tentative agreement, according to the Facebook post.

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