Vote on salary package set for Thursday |

Vote on salary package set for Thursday

Susan Cunningham

— Steamboat Springs School District employees will vote Thursday on a revised salary package.

The package was presented to employees last week before the district’s Collaborative Barg–aining Team made final revisions to it.

The Steamboat Springs Edu–cation Association is backing the proposal, President Brad Kindred said.

“SSEA is supportive of the package as it stands,” he said. “We’re hoping it passes. I think it will.”

The revisions include a one-time payment of 1 percent of an employee’s salary for all certified and support staff. The package does not include a similar bonus for district administrators. Minor changes also were made to the district’s annual leave policy.

If the package passes, the School Board will decide Mon–day whether to approve it.

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The School Board also will be asked, in a separate issue, to give administrators a one-time bonus payment of 1 percent of their salaries, Superintendent Donna Howell said.

When employees heard det–ails about the proposed salary package last week, a sticking point for many of them was that the one-time payment also was being proposed for administrators.

Some teachers and staff members said they thought administrative salaries should be decided by the School Board and not through the collaborative bargaining process. Some also said they thought administrators’ salaries were high enough.

Howell said the proposed salary increases for teachers and staff that are part of the package and the salary increases for administrators, which have been approved, are intended to bring all district employees up to last year’s salary mean when compared with similar districts. Howell said the one-time payment for all employees, including administrators, is the most fair.

The School Board approved a budget that included that one-time payment for all employees.

If approved by the board, the $106,000 cost of the one-time payments would come from a one-time revenue source. In 2003, the district received about $300,000 for restructuring its bonds. A portion was used to start the Montessori option at Strawberry Park Elementary School, and most of the remainder could go toward the one-time payment.

District employees voted down a proposed salary and benefits package at the end of the 2004-05 school year for a number of reasons, including that some support staff members would have received less than a 2 percent salary increase.

Those concerns have, for the most part, been mitigated, support staff representatives said.

In the current draft package, the 12 support staff members who would have received less than a 2 percent raise will receive at least a 2.1 percent raise. Employees who were not receiving raises because their salaries were at the top of the pay schedule will be given a one-time payment of 2.1 percent of their existing salaries.

School employees will receive ballots today and cast their votes Thursday. Results should be available Thursday afternoon.

If the package passes, salary increases will be applied retroactively, and employees will receive that increase and the one-time payment in their November paychecks.

— To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail