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Teachers to question system

Education association member to appear before School Board

Brent Boyer

One scrapped plan deserves another, or so thinks a leading member of the Steamboat Springs Education Association.

Brad Kindred is expected to appear before the Steamboat Springs School Board tonight to air his and other teachers’ frustrations with the way the School Board has handled a negotiated policy concerning staff pay and the failed Knowledge and Skills-Based Pay system.

Earlier this year, the School Board, following an outside analysis, declared KSBP unaffordable for the district.

Once the progressive pay system was scrapped, the district should have entered into negotiations with teachers to determine what to do with the rest of the KSBP negotiated policy, Kindred said. Instead, the district has continued to work on the rigorous evaluation system that was to be used to determine a teacher’s placement on KSBP’s accelerated pay schedule.

The district also is moving ahead with a policy stipulation that calls for teachers and support staff to have 1 percent deducted from the competitive market salary adjustment they’re due to receive this year. Both sides initially agreed to the stipulation because the KSBP pay schedule would have provided greater salary increases than what is available under the traditional teacher pay schedule approved in 2001.

“KSBP was a package deal voted on by the collaborative bargaining team,” Kindred said Sunday. “In our view, that put everything else in flux. Why are they holding our feet to the fire with the 1 percent off this year when there’s not going to be any substantial pay raise?

“They’ve taken away the carrot and kept the stick.”

Kindred said the SSEA is satisfied with the interim pay scale that will be used for the 2004-05 school year but doesn’t understand the reasoning behind following the provision that calls for deducting 1 percent from the competitive market adjustment.

“It just seems weird to me they’re using pieces and parts of collaborative bargaining and scrapping others,” he said. “It’s not all about money. It’s about policy and how policy is being interpreted.”

The School Board is scheduled to approve certified and support staff salary schedules at its study session tonight. The salary schedules include the 1 percent deduction from the competitive market adjustment. Administrators also had 1 percent deducted from their competitive market salary adjustments, Superintendent Donna Howell said at a meeting earlier this month.

The School Board also is scheduled to discuss a high school girls fastpitch softball team, the curriculum management audit report and a policy dealing with board member conflict of interest. The 6:30 p.m. meeting is in the BOCES meeting room in the administration building.

— To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234 or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com


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