Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Teachers’ union approves new contract

Agreement provides for 1.25 percent pay increase


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Blaine County School District officials and representatives of the Blaine County Education Association completed negotiations last week on a new contract that provides for a 1.25 percent pay increase for teachers. Courtesy photo

    The Blaine County Education Association overwhelmingly approved a new contract Monday with the Blaine County School District that provides a 1.25 percent pay increase for teachers beginning in July.
    The vote was 115 in favor and four opposed. Only a simple majority was required for approval.
    The agreement, reached Friday after four days of negotiations, also provides for a one-time .25 percent payment to teachers in December and provides for continuation of the district’s “steps and lanes” program, wherein teachers can move to a higher salary grade with increased years of experience and by furthering their education. Furthermore, the district agreed to absorb at no cost to teachers a 7.6 percent increase in health-insurance benefit costs.
    The proposed contract was scheduled to be considered for approval by the district board of trustees at its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night. According to the meeting agenda, the school board was also to consider whether the pay increase would be applied to all district staff, including administrators, such as has historically been the case.
    District Business Manager Mike Chatterton said the new agreement, if applied only to teachers, which are often referred as “certified staff,” will cost the district just over $1.158 million. That number includes $408,400 for the 1.25 percent base salary increase and the .25 percent one-time December payment, $544,600 for continuation of steps and lanes and $205,715 for increased insurance costs.
    If the school board approves applying the same provisions to all district staff, Chatterton said the total cost will be about $1.65 million.
    The 1.25 percent pay increase, which would become applicable on July 1 with the beginning of the school district’s 2015 fiscal year, follows another 1.25 percent pay increase that became effective on July 1, 2013.

Negotiations
    Negotiations, as provided by Idaho law, were open to the public. However, according to a district press release, public attendance was sparse and included only one news media representative for part of one day and a few district staff and members of the board of trustees.
    Discussions began on Thursday, May 1, and continued on May 2. They were further continued on Thursday, May 8, and concluded on May 9. All sessions were held during daytime hours, a situation that Tryntje Van Slyke, president of the education association, said Tuesday might make it difficult for the public to attend. She said holding evening sessions was discussed during negotiations as a way to make it easier for other teachers and the public to attend.
    Teachers representing the education association, often referred to as the teachers’ union, were Van Slyke and association representatives Maritt Wolfrom, Jamie Harding, Beth Andrews, Erika Greenberg and Liz Young.
    The School District was represented in negotiations by Chatterton, interim Superintendent John Blackman, Trustee Kathy Baker, Hemingway Elementary School Principal Don Haisley and district Director of Curriculum Angie Martinez.
    Both Van Slyke and Chatterton said negotiations went well.
    “I always appreciate negotiating with the BCEA because it’s always amicable and agreeable,” Chatterton said. “We’ve always seemed to find common ground on all of the issues.”
    “I think we did a good job on both sides,” said Van Slyke, who added that she was pleased with the results.
    “It’s an increase, and everything helps when you’re trying to keep up with the economy,” she said.
Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



-->
 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2014 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.