Consultants to aid school board |

Consultants to aid school board

Professionals, subcommittee to discuss pay plan options

— A Steamboat Springs School District subcommittee looking to organize a multiyear competitive compensation plan told the school board Monday night it needs to look to professionals for further implementation.

The subcommittee told board members it would seek the help of the Center for Workforce Effectiveness to help create a feasible plan unique to this district.

“We told them we wanted a plan specific to this district and not one utilized before,” said Roberta Gill, school district food services director.

The subcommittee and consultants from the hired company will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss viable options for a multiyear competitive compensation plan.

“They’ll give us a menu of ideas that can be put together to best fit our scenario,” bus driver Clair Erickson said.

The school board and district staff voted in July to create a multiyear competitive compensation plan to increase staff salaries and avoid a drawn-out salary bargaining process.

But as the subcommittee continued to meet since August, members agreed to look for outside advice on the best ways to implement a plan.

“As (they) got into more in-depth researching, they realized there was a lot more to it than anticipated,” School District Superintendent Cyndy Simms said of the subcommittee.

The school board unanimously agreed to four parameters as criteria for the subcommittee to follow: the pay plan will be for a three-year period; the plan should keep staff salaries competitive; the plan should include an annual cost-of-living increase; and proposals should be guided by thoughtful consideration of principles of merit pay, career advancement, pay for performance principles and continuity assurances from year to year.

Originally, the subcommittee was to create a plan by Nov. 1 but realized the issues at hand were more complicated than originally thought.

“I was worried about coming up with something by ourselves,” said David Schmid, Steamboat Springs High School principal. “We need to do it right. We all have a ton of learning to do. A lot of change is on our plates, too.”

Mike Smith, Steamboat Springs Education Association president, said a plan probably would not be implemented for another two to three years, according to the consulting company.

But the board and subcommittee have set a goal to have a plan by April 15. Simms said the plan would begin phasing in various stages while making changes to perfect it along the way.

A district increase in cost per student will occur eventually; however, the subcommittee and consulting firm have not yet met to add up those future figures.

Smith said the compensation plan could be based on a knowledge- and skills-based plan or a school-based performance award plan, which the district already has set in place.

Gill said all the variables and protocols would be shown to the school board at each month’s study session.

The subcommittee consists of Simms, Smith, Schmid, Erickson, Gill, Nat Cooper, Steve Schibline and Pam Brandt.

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