Friday, June 14, 2013

School board approves admin raises

Teacher raises to be applied to all district employees

Express Staff Writer

    The Blaine County School District board of trustees voted 5-0 on Tuesday to extend a 1.25 percent pay raise, earlier approved for teachers and other certified staff, to all district employees, including administrators who participated in contract negotiations with the teachers union.
    Unlike last year, when some district patrons complained about administration raises because of the litigation between the district and McKinstry Essention, there was no adverse public comment about the raises at Tuesday’s meeting and no board discussion prior to approval.
    “As we have in the past, we treat everyone as far as staff goes as people and we have passed those salary increases on in that manner,” said board Chair Steve Guthrie. “I’m suggesting to the board that we do that, that our certified and classified staff have to work in unison as a team and should be rewarded in that same manner.”
    The motion to approve the pay raises was made by Trustee Paul Bates and seconded by Trustee Shawn Bennion. The entire agenda item lasted only a few minutes.
    It is the third year in a row that teachers, administrators and other staff have received pay increases. In 2011, a 2 percent pay raise was received by all, and in 2012, a 1 percent pay increase was received plus a one-time 1 percent bonus that was paid in December.
    The only district employee not receiving a pay raise in 2012 was Superintendent Lonnie Barber, who voluntarily declined, saying he didn’t feel right about it because of the litigation with McKinstry.
    In an interview Thursday, district Business Manager Mike Chatterton said raises for administrators and classified staff were included in a number that he previously released following approval of the contract with the teachers union, more formally known as the Blaine County Education Association.
    At that time, Chatterton said the 1.25 percent pay increase would cost the district annually $475,000. He said Thursday that raises for teachers and other certified staff account for 70 percent of that amount, classified staff for 25 percent and administrators for 5 percent.

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