Sunday, April 20, 2014
   
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Teachers receive smaller pay increase

District 20 board says less aid means a tighter budget.

Paychecks for teachers in District 20 will reflect a 2% increase this year.

Premiums will remain the same for health insurance. Contributions toward retirement benefits will increase 6% as mandated by the state.

At their Monday meeting, the District 20 school board approved the agreement, which has been ratified by the Gothenburg Education Association, that adds $200 to base pay for new teachers.

When yearly contracts begin on Sept. 1, base pay will increase from $30,700 to $30,900.

Teachers employed for more than a year are compensated according to where they are on the pay scale.

Salaries are based on years in the district and education beyond a bachelor’s degree.

Board negotiator Lisa Geiken said it was a good year for negotiations and involved two meetings.

“It was very communicative and amicable and teachers were easy to work with,” Geiken said.

Because the district will receive $461,366 less in state aid, she said both parties agreed to the smaller increase.

Board negotiator chair Nate Wyatt said there was a lot of good discussion during negotiations and that he was proud of the teaching staff.

“It’s a tight budget year but I think we’re moving in the right direction,” Wyatt said.

Negotiations wrapped up a month earlier this year and two months earlier than in 2009 when discussion extended into October.

Superintendent Mike Teahon said compensation for teachers is based on comparability with schools of similar size and located within a similar geographic area.

Compensation comparability this year was calculated using staff employed by the district last March.

In related action, the board approved a 2.6% salary increase for non-certified staff and a nearly 1.6% raise for administrative staff.

Non-certified staff are employees who don’t have teaching certificates such as custodians, paraeducators, secretaries and others.

Wyatt said the district is fortunate to have administrators and staff who keep the school system, and the facility, running smoothly.

Compensation for non-certified employees is based on job category subgroups and compared to others performing similar work.

Administrator compensation is based on salary and benefit comparability with schools of similar size.

Like the teacher settlement, health insurance rates will remain the same and retirement benefits will increase 6%.

Speech language pathologist Erin Feather, who led negotiations for the GEA, said the negotiating team was pleased with the process.

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