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Board approves wage adjustments, strips salary schedules

The Superior School Board on Tuesday approved a measure to eliminate salary schedules for school district administration and support staff employees.

The Board first considered the measure in July but delayed action after a number of employees objected.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Board approved the salary changes unanimously with no discussion. Board members Len Albrecht and Christina Kintop were not present.

The measure included two key modifications from the original proposal considered by the Board in July.

Under the original plan, many employees would receive a wage adjustment to bring their earnings closer to local averages, as determined by a recent salary comparability study. Those who do not qualify for a wage adjustment receive a 1.46 percent raise — up from 1 percent under the original proposal.

The Board also introduced language to limited salary adjustments for administrative staff.

Sally Thompson, a school nurse for the district, raised the issue in July when she questioned how wage adjustments were being applied. Superintendent Janna Stevens said support staff employees would receive increases to bring them halfway to the local average, but some administration employees would receive the full increase.

“I guess I don’t understand why support staff would be different,” Thompson said.

The proposal approved by the Board on Tuesday limits salary adjustments for both groups of employees to half of the local average.

With the changes, the total cost increase to the district for the 2014-615 school year is $45,762 for administration and $348,105 for support staff. Under the original proposal the cost was estimated at $77,187 for administration and $317,875 for support staff.

The Board also passed a measure to reflect the salary changes in current employee handbooks.

Handbooks for administration and support staff employees were amended to remove salary schedules and to increase the district’s monthly contribution to employee health insurance plans by 11 percent.

The Board also stripped union recognition language from the support staff handbook because AFSCME, Local 1397 did not hold union recertification elections in 2013. Act 10 requires public unions to hold annual recertification elections to maintain their collective bargaining status.

The district is in the process of creating a new handbook for employees represented by the Superior Building and Construction Trades Council, ALF-CIO, which did recertify. The AFSCME and ALF-CIO employees had previously been covered by the same handbook.

• In other news, the school district is moving ahead with repairs to the softball fields at Superior Middle School. Work to be done includes leveling the field and improving drainage. The estimated cost of $9,000 will come from the building and grounds department budget.

Stevens said expenditures of less than $10,000 do not need approval of the School Board.

• Fundraising efforts for the National Bank of Commerce Spartan Sports Complex have exceeded expectations.

The fundraising total has crossed the $1 million mark, and activities director Ray Kosey said only $80,000 more is needed to fully fund lighting at the baseball field.

“It’s pretty impressive, all the help we’ve gotten,” Stevens said. “I never thought we’d get that high.”