The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Michelle Bigelbach
The Courier 

Glasgow Teachers and Classifieds Staff Receive Raise Due To Community Support

Administrator Wage Negotiations Tabled

 


The Glasgow School Board had a busy week of meetings last week following the support of the Glasgow community voting in favor of the general fund levy on May 5, after voters had denied the request the past five years. Due to the support, teachers, classified staff and classified supervisors will be earning a raise starting next school year in addition to two one-time payments due to unfilled positions and savings the district has incurred as a result of in-person instruction being suspended because of the coronavirus.

The first round of negotiations occurred between the Glasgow School Board and the Glasgow Education Association (GEA) on May 11 to discuss pay differences for teachers. The board presented a proposal which included three different issues to address, of which a majority of these issues were discussed after last year’s failed school election.

The first issue included a one-time payment to current staff based on 69 percent of one and a half unfilled full time equivalence (FTE) monies. As a result of not filling positions that were advertised, the FTE monies provided to each teacher was calculated based on the average salary, cost of health contributions and the total number of teachers, providing a $780 one-time payment per teacher. The second issue presented included increasing the base wage 3.75 percent to $27,675, which will result in all teachers receiving a raise. The third issue presented included a per teacher sign-on bonus for current staff based on 69 percent of any available unspent 2019-20 General Fund year-end monies to be determined by July 15. It is hoped that these monies will be available because of one-time cost savings associated with the schools being closed.

The GEA negotiators, who consisted of Laurie Enebo, Kim Shipp, LeAnne Billingsley and Matt Bacon, agreed with the board’s proposals however had questions regarding if the two one-time payments would be evenly distributed to teachers or fall within the pay matrix, which would result in teachers receiving different amounts based upon where they fall on the pay matrix. It was determined the negotiators would bring the proposal to their members and allow them to decide how the one-time payments would be distributed. While the board agreed if the negotiators wanted to bring the vote to their members, that’s their vote, however the board had other thoughts in mind when writing the proposal.

“I would like all of them to know that we [the board] wanted an equal amount so that the younger teachers as well as the older teachers received the same amount one time for number one [the first issue presented],” stated former Glasgow School Board member Suzanne Billingsley, whose term ended on May 13.

After bringing the tentative agreement to the members, it was determined the funds available due to unfilled positions would be distributed equally among teachers while the funds available due to cost savings associated with the schools being closed will be distributed based upon the pay matrix.

The second round of negotiations occurred between the Glasgow School Board and classified staff as well as classified supervisors on May 12. These employees received a very similar proposal from the school board, including a one-time payment to current staff based on 24 percent of one and a half unfilled FTE monies, which will equate to $365 per classified staff member, a 3.75 percent pay increase as well as a per staff member sign-on bonus for current staff based on 24 percent of any available unspent 2019-20 General Fund year-end monies to be determined by July 15, again on hopes that these monies will be available because of one-time cost savings associated with the schools being closed.

The proposal didn’t catch the classified staff or supervisors off guard as again the majority of the proposal included discussions held at the end of last year. The only new item in the proposal was the sign-on bonus of any available unspent funds due to the shutdown of schools. Both the classified negotiators and the classified supervisors agreed to distribute the one time payment and per staff member sign-on bonus for current staff evenly throughout the staff.

When discussing the 3.75 percent raise portion of the classified staff proposal, Irle School secretary Nancy Vaira stated, “It’s something that we talked about and I feel that I’m happily aware that if you know we wouldn’t have been able to pass the levy, we wouldn’t be looking at that and so I am also happy with that.” Judy Waters, also a secretary at Irle School, echoed the sentiment by stating, “I feel like that’s a big blessing from our community and I totally appreciate it.”

Also on the agenda for the May 12 meeting were negotiations with principals, which ended up being tabled for another time to allow the board the ability to review the pay matrix to determine if that needs to be changed. There will be a meeting on Wednesday, May 20, to discuss these wages.

“Thank you to the community for supporting our school district in passing the levy. Thank you to the grass roots group for everything they did to support the school district and their effort in to get the levy passed,” stated Enebo during the regular school board meeting on May 13.

 

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