PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Association of Bay County Educators Union is one step closer to having its master contract ratified.

The Bay District School Board approved the negotiated master contract from the union.

An important facet of the contract focuses on income and experience.

The minimum starting salary for teachers will be over $48,000.

If the contract goes into effect it will better distribute pay for how many years of experience a teacher has.

“If you had zero to 17 years you were paid the same. And so, what we wanted to do is acknowledge and recognize years of experience. And so that we have been able to distribute that and create bands of pay that recognize years of experience,” said Bay District School’s Superintendent Mark McQueen.

McQueen says that those years of experience can come from any accredited educational location within the United States.

The union votes on the contract tomorrow, November 15.

If it passes it will go into effect in January.