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Making Cents Of Salaries

By Staff | May 24, 2012

The certified and non-certified employees of the Emmetsburg Community School District will see increases in their paychecks for the 2012-2013 school year, following action by the Emmetsburg School Board on May 16. Adjustments to administrator salaries were also approved following discussion on the topic.

In presenting his recommendations for salaries, Superintendent John Joynt began with the support staff, which covers the secretaries, custodians, paraeducators food service staff and bus drivers for the district.

“We’re proposing a twenty-five cent increase, with the district paying the $12 additional cost of the employee insurance,” Joynt said.

Board member Tammy Naig questioned the amount of hours worked in a year’s time by the various staff positions. Business Manager Pat Swanson explained that secretaries worked 1,498 hours yearly, with paraeducators working 1,206 hours and custodians working 2,088 hours. However, three custodians each work 308 overtime hours yearly, with two other custodians working 165 overtime hours yearly.

“As I look at this, we have two dozen paraeducators in our district,” Naig said. “How does that compare with schools our size?”

“I looked at that as well, Tammy, when I checked out the state staffing survey results,” noted Board member Rick Brennan. “We’re where we should be at.”

With little other discussion, the board approved the raise on a unanimous vote.

Administrative salaries were then addressed, with Joynt recommending an increase of $1,440 for West Elementary Principal/Athletic Director Joe Carter to bring his salary to $73,440. The salary for new High School Principal Fred Matlage was proposed at $75,000 and Joynt’s Superintendent salary received a recommendation of $2,029, for a yearly salary of $103,509.

Naig asked if the proposed salaries were in the appropriate range for schools of Emmetsburg’s size, and was assured that they were in the range of 37 similar sized schools, according to Brennan.

“I’m not tying to whittle anyone down, but I have to wonder if we’re paying our administrators enough,” Naig said. “We’ve just had to replace Mr. Jurrens, but that was for his professional advancement. Now, I look at what we’re asking of Mr. Carter, and I just don’t want us to be at the bottom of the range. I don’t want to see our district to lose the good people we have by not paying enough. I just feel that our district need to make sure that we’re taking care of our people salary-wise.”

“I agree,” Brennan said. “We don’t want to see salaries drive good people away.

“In that case, the people who suffer are the kids,” agreed Board member Scott Kibbie.

As the discussion returned to salaries, a comment regarding the timing of salary increases and reviews of the administrators was made.

“I guess I would like to see reviews done before we talk about salaries,” observed Board President BJ Schany. “If we could do those reviews before this meeting next year, I’d like that a little better.”

The Administrators’ salaries were then approved on a unanimous vote.

Joynt then shared the recommendation for the teachers’ salary package proposal of 3.8 percent. The package consists of a $600 increase to the base salary to $32,363; along with the district paying the 18 percent increase in health insurance costs and the six percent increase in IPERS contributions.

Additionally, contract language regarding employee longevity and a payment of two percent of the base salary for longevity of service to the district.

“This is what the negotiations team has worked out ,” Joynt noted. “However, this is a tentative proposal, as the Association has to vote on this proposal yet.”

The board voted to approve the offer, pending the teacher’s association acceptance of the offer, on a unanimous vote.

In a final personnel move, the board approved the hiring of Jill Schany as the instructor for the district’s Alternative School. At the same time, the board accepted Schany’s resignation as high school business education instructor. Board President BJ Schany abstained from voting on either motion, with both motions being approved by other board members.