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Superior teachers, staff poised for pay bump

The school board will vote on a proposed 4% raise at the Monday, April 11 meeting.

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SUPERIOR — Superior School District employees would receive a 4% raise in the 2022-2023 school year if the school board approves a series of action items at its Monday, April 11 meeting.

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The administration has recommended adding 4% to the starting step of the salary schedule for administrators, professional staff and support staff, as well as adding $1,659 to each step on the salary schedule for teachers, which equates to a 4% base wage increase. The proposal was ratified by the Superior Federation of Teachers on March 31, according to the school district.

The raises would cost the district nearly $1 million — $595,740 for teachers, $236,572 for support staff, $29,501 for professional staff and $95,095 for administrators.

School board members unanimously approved moving all four proposals forward during their committee of the whole meeting Monday, April 4.

Superior High School biology and human anatomy and physiology teacher Lee Sims publicly thanked the school board for the move.

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“This is a very big deal. This is the single largest CPI (consumer price index) increase in Superior since Act 10,” Sims told the board, referring to a 2011 state law that limited bargaining rights for many state and local government employees, including teachers.

Teacher retention is an increasing problem nationwide, he said, but the board’s decision to offer the raise brings him peace.

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“What you guys are doing for teachers for next year and admin and support staff sends a very clear message that we are valued, that you believe in us and the job that we are doing and that you want to not only keep us here, but also recruit the best talent for us to work with,” Sims said. “This is what our district putting their best foot forward looks like.”

Another action item would provide salary increases for athletic coaches, as well as academic and activity advisers. Coaches in Superior have not received an increase since 2013, according to human resources director Molly Devine Webb.

Activity and academic advisers would see a 10% increase to their stipend, for a total increase of $6,479. Athletic coaches would make between 6.5% and 13.5% of the base teacher salary for their work, which would cost the district an additional $35,208.

“When we put that percentage of the base ... we don’t go 10 years without having any movement. Ten years ago we had a pretty good one and now we’ve had multiple coaches that have been here for that 10 years who, some of them are getting paid the same as a 23-year-old coming into our program,” said athletic and activities director Ella Olson.

The increase shows, she said, that “we care for what they do and what they do really matters for our kids and their involvement in our buildings.”

Board member Steve Olson, a former athletic coach, said this is an issue that he’s been keen to address.

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“We keep moving forward in this district, and that’s why I’m so damn proud to be part of this district, always have been and always will be,” Olson said.

The board unanimously approved moving both recommendations forward to the meeting Monday.

In other action, the board is poised to approve a district insurance plan for 2022-2023 and a flurry of staff transfers.

The administration recommended staying with current insurance provider WEA even though a quote from a different provider, WCA, was 2% lower. The cost to employees would only rise by a few dollars per month, according to discussion at the meeting, and staying with WEA would provide them with consistency.

Transfers that will be brought forward for approvalinclude a number of leadership role changes for the 2022-2023 school year:

  • Superior High School principal Rick Flaherty will move into the position of principal at Lake Superior Elementary School, replacing Dan Hicks, who is retiring.
  • Current Bryant Elementary School principal Matthew Amerson is poised to move to an assistant principal position at SHS.
  • Jason Kalin, an instructional coach at SHS, is slated to take the principal position at Bryant Elementary.
  • Elisha Hebert-Johnson, a health teacher at Superior Middle School, would move to a dean of students position at the school.
Related Topics: EDUCATIONSUPERIOR SCHOOLS
Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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