Districts get employees signed
July 22, 2008
All three local school districts will enter the coming school year with nearly all of their employees wrapped up and set in contracts.
Salary negotiations at both South Summit School District and Park City School District have closed, save administrators at Park City who will likely find their contracts resolved next month. North Summit School District does not renew negotiations until next year at which point Superintendent Steve Carlsen is concerned that inflation could negatively impact teacher salary. "With inflation, I do think most of us are actually gonna take a cut a pay," he said.
Park City School District has attempted to outpace changes in the economy with a combined strategy of overall raises to employee pay and added stipend pay. The average licensed, or certified instructor, pay has increased about 5.7 percent according to Patty Murphy, Park City School District accountant. Classified employees, non-licensed staff, will see an 8.8 percent hike in their salary Murphy added. Compared with the district’s calculated 4 percent inflation, employees should still be making slightly more money even as gasoline prices, and other factors, spur inflation forward.
As a response to those escalated costs, the district also plans to unveil a $1,200 stipend for travel, or housing defrayment for every employee. Tim McConnell, human resources administrator said that this money varies in significance for each employee. For certain classified employees, this could represent a fairly substantial increase in pay, while the money will be a less significant amount for other employees. Either way, all district employees will have $100 a month to apply for travel or housing. Murphy said that, in certain cases, the district competes with the service industry to keep classified employees on staff.
Teachers will also get additional funds from the state. Aside from the one-time performance-based funds recently approved by the state legislature, teachers should receive additional funding from the state. Certain math and science teachers new to the district could also receive a state-sponsored signing bonus, likely to be a matter of several hundred dollars.
Although administrators hope these tools will boost the district’s attempt to recruit high-quality instructors to replace the 12 faculty members who retired at the end of the last school year, they also planned to take a more aggressive approach. Previously, the district capped the step, or tenure, that any teacher could possess to be hired. Essentially, by hiring teachers will less experience, the district could save money. This year, they changed that policy to allow for more experienced teachers. This new allowance could significantly aid the district in their attempt to replace some of the experience lost to the district at the end of the last school year.
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South Summit School District reached an agreement in negotiations in June.