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38 Percent Hike for N.Y.C. Teachers

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Starting teachers in New York City received a 38 percent pay raise under a new contract announced last week by an arbitration panel.

The three-year contract provides beginning teachers with an $18,500 salary, up $4,000 from the 1983-84 pay rate. In addition, next September the starting salary will increase again to $20,000.

The contract also is retroactive to Sept. 1, 1984, when the last contract expired, and provides a $1,000 increase in the starting wage for that school year.

Teachers on the last step of the wage scale will receive a 19.4 percent increase over three years. The boost means that a teacher with 15 years' experience, a master's degree, and additional coursework will earn $38,500 this year and $40,700 next year.

The United Federation of Teachers, which represents 59,500 New York City teachers, was the last large municipal union to complete negotiations with the city. Accord-ing to city officials, the increases in teacher salaries were more costly than any of the other contracts negotiated by municipal unions.

The contract settlement followed months of unproductive negotiations between union leaders and city officials. The final settlement--reportedly put forth by Mayor Edward I. Koch, who is running for re-election--was reached by a three-member arbitration panel in a procedure called "last-offer binding arbitration."

School officials said last week that the increases in teacher salaries would be offset partly by provisions in the new contract reducing the number of paid sabbaticals teachers receive and by some increases in their administrative and teaching duties.

According to Edward P. Aquilone, executive director of the school system's division of personnel, the salary increase is expected to alleviate the district's continuing problem of teacher shortages.--cc

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