The Westside Community Schools will take a slightly different approach in awarding raises to teachers for the next two years.
Under an agreement approved Tuesday by the school board, teachers will receive an increase of $1,300 next school year, which works out to an average pay raise of 2.7 percent, and a $1,500 increase in 2013-14.
In the past, the district has awarded a percentage increase, said Andy Rikli, assistant superintendent of administrative operations. People on the higher end of the salary scale benefit more from a percentage increase.
Given the tight economic times, he said, the district opted for dollar amounts, believing that to be a “more equitable way to treat everyone.”
The package also includes an increase in starting salaries for teachers, which will rise from $34,200 to $34,800 in 2012-13 and to $35,200 in 2013-14.
Rikli said the district used to offer the top starting salary in the area for teachers. Now it's No. 4. “We felt this was very competitive,” he said.
The school board also authorized the superintendent to award raises to administrators, from assistant principals to central office administration, of up to 2.5 percent next year, with room for adjustments reflecting job responsibilities and performance and for competitive reasons.
The superintendent's contract is handled separately. Blane McCann, Westside's new superintendent, is scheduled to join the district July 10.
The board also approved agreements with several other employee groups. The wage agreements are in line with the district's preliminary budget for 2012-13, which the board is scheduled to consider after a public hearing July 11.
Superintendent Jacquie Estee said reaching two-year agreements with employees will help the school district meet a state-mandated timeline for negotiations that takes effect next year.
Estee oversaw her last school board meeting Tuesday. She is retiring after 40 years with the district, four of them as superintendent.
Rikli said the two-year contracts also will let the district focus on longer-term budgeting.
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