Some mediation progress; D9 offers staffing costs

District 9 and the Eagle Point Education Association held their third mediation session on Sept. 17.

Agreement was reached on three items at last week’s mediation. Items included Article 4- substitute teacher list/personnel directory; Article 7- vacancies and transfers and Article 26- grievance.

One of the continuing stumbling blocks has been the article on video surveillance. It was a major concern to the union during the last time the contract was negotiated. In a release from EPEA, they said they could not accept Article 6 “due to the following language the District added to Article 6: The purpose of videos in schools is to insure the safety and security of staff, students and District equipment and facilities. It is understood surveillance can be used for corroborative evidence in employee disciplinary and dismissal situations and in those instances where workplace violations are viewed in the normal course of using videos for student supervision.”

EPEA is asking for a 2 % salary increase plus the cost of living increase (COLA) as well as steps, according to Mike Remick, director of human resources for the district. The district released information showing what the district’s offer (that does not include COLA) would cost over the length of the contract, which is three years.
The school district is offering the following:

  • 2% salary increase
  • + a step increase of 3.4% for licensed staff
  • the step compounds each year.
  • at the end of a 3 year contract, the “2%” salary increase becomes a 16.41% increase.

In addition there is an education step. According to the district, 79 % of the licensed staff may be eligible to receive an experience step and/or an education step.

In addition, those teachers who have reached the final step, which is step 14, start to receive longevity pay, which is 3% of the base salary. At year 18, that percent increases to 5%.

New teachers this 2007-08 academic year, who take 15 additional credit hours each year will see a 27% increase in three years, on their starting salary of $33,604.

This school year a licensed staff member at the maximum schedule would earn $63,426.

During the last negotiating session, it was the decision of the district and the board of directors to raise the salaries to be comparable to what other districts in the region were paying. That was done and this year District 9 is number two or three in the region in starting and ending salary range.    

Fifty-five percent of the district’s classified employees will receive an experience step. This step is higher than that of the teachers, because they do not receive an education step. The classified experience step is four to five percent compared to the licensed 3.4%.

A classified staff member could see an 18 to 21 % increase in three years.  They start longevity pay after 8 years and receive 3% of the teacher’s base. Those who complete 14 years with the district receive 5% of the teachers base salary.

Insurance cost has decreased. Those on the $300 deductible paid $173.63 per month. Next year that figure will be $11.95. Those on the $500 deductible will see their cost reduced from $84.40 a month to just $48 a month. Both of these options include a dental and vision plan as well as a pharmaceutical plan.

A document put out by the district detailing the costs included information about administrators salaries. Again, their salary schedule was adjusted to bring them more in line with similar positions in the state. They said if that continued in place their salary increase would be 7%. Administrators offered to reduce their increase to 3%. They do not get steps, but do receive longevity pay of 3% and 5% at eight and 12 years of service.

The next mediation session will be Oct. 6.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent   

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