hi-gayla-meredith-nwt-teachers

Gayla Meredith says the three-year pact is good for teachers' pensions. (CBC)

Yellowknife teachers with the Yellowknife Education District No.1 have approved a three-year agreement with the school board that will see their pension contributions and salaries both increase.

The deal, which stretches until the 2016 school year, covers 212 teachers and teaching assistants working for YK1.

The deal will see teacher salaries increase by 1 per cent per year.

It also includes a hike in the amount that the school board puts into their pension plan.

Under the old deal, teachers would contribute up to 6 per cent of their salaries into the plan, an amount which would be matched by the board.

Under the new deal, that figure jumps to 8 per cent.

"With the defined benefit pension plan, that will give teacher's who retire guaranteed income for their retirement," said Gayla Meredith, the president on the N.W.T. Teachers Association. "With the plan that they have now, there's no defined plan — it's whatever is in their investment accounts."

With the old pension plan during the global economic slowdown that started in 2008, many teachers who hit retirement age that year lost huge amounts of money in their pension plans.