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By Caroline Downs
The Kenmare School Board approved several salary and benefits changes effective for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years during a special meeting held May 21st.
Negotiations and Finance Committee chairman Jan Kostad presented the committee’s recommendations for compensation packages.
Board members approved the negotiated agreement with the Kenmare Education Association, for a total cost to the district of $294,017. The package included an increase to the base salary of $1,000 for each of the next two years, with annual salaries beginning at $35,000 for new teachers in 2013-2014.
Other aspects of the negotiated agreement addressed health insurance, pensions, paid leave and sick leave days.
Kostad noted the compensation package increased overall about 4.9 percent.
The board approved the corresponding increases in the extra-curricular duty salary schedule, which is linked directly to the district’s base salary.
Board members approved a four percent increase in the salaries paid to the 15 non-certified employees working for the school district. Kostad reported that six of those employees work fulltime and already receive health insurance benefits.
Because of changes in the federal law, the other nine non-certified employees will now be offered a pro-rata health insurance option, based on the number of months and days they work. “They can choose to accept it or not,” Kostad explained.
The board also approved an increase of $100 per month, to $1550, for the district’s bus drivers. The drivers will be offered a pro-rata health insurance option, which will cost the district about $3000 per driver annually.
Finally, the board addressed salaries for the district’s four administrators. Motions to increase Superintendent Duane Mueller’s annual salary by $4510 and elementary principal Janis Gerding’s 11-month contract by $3555 were approved, along with an annual increase of $1770 for business manager Renae Murphy. Those changes reflect a 4.5 percent increase.
High school principal Robert Thom will be offered the same contract for 2013-2014 that he signed for the current school year.
Kostad announced further discussions would take place between the Negotiations and Finance Committee and the Activities Committee regarding concerns raised during the negotiations process about responsibilities during various school activities.
Board member Michele Nelson asked that job descriptions for the activities director and events supervisor be better defined and clarified for the coming year.
The next regular meeting of the Kenmare School Board is scheduled for June 11th, beginning at 7 pm.