Board approves new teacher contract

Teachers will receive 10.1 percent increase over two years

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 1/19/00.

During a special meeting Saturday morning, the Paynesville Area School Board approved the master teacher contract for 1999-2001.

The contract gave the teachers a 5.5 percent increase the first year and a 4.6 percent increase the second year.

Beginning teachers with a bachelor's degree will start at $27,575 at step one on the pay scale during the first year of the contract and the maximum is $50,933 with a master's degree in the second year of the contract.

Superintendent Howard Caldwell informed the board there is totally new contract language for early retirement. The new language meets the constructive receipt and age discrimination guidelines.

Teachers who earned at least 15 years of allowable service credit with the district and who are at least 55 years of age shall be eligible for early retirement pay, according to the contract. Their resignation must be submitted to the district office by March 1 of the school year in which early retirement is planned.

Eligible teachers shall receive, as early retirement pay, an amount obtained by multiplying 70 percent of their unused accumulated sick leave days by his or her daily rate of pay. Sick leave days will not be credited beyond 78 days.

Early retirement pay will be paid to a teacher in 24 monthly installments.

"This contract benefits the district and teachers," Caldwell said. "This enables the teachers to continue with the district's insurance plan after retire-ment."

"Our pay scale is competitive with area schools," Caldwell added. "The full package is good, especially for those teachers who want to stay longer."

The new contract is retroactive to the start of the school year.

In other business:
•The board approved a memorandum of understanding for Dick Realdsen, who plans to retire at the end of this school year. Realdsen is the only member that qualified for the maximum amount of $25,000 under the old contract.

The teacher asso-ciation wanted to ensure that the old early retirement pro-vision would be allowed for Realdsen. The only stipulation is that he notify the district office in writing by March 1.

•The board approved the personnel policy adjustments for the support staff. "The staff has been very patient with us," Caldwell said.

The salary schedule is the primary area in which the policy was adjusted.

Pat Flanders, board chairman, said, "The board gave the support staff substantial increases. Many were affected by pay equity. This was a difficult process. Their salary increases range from 12.5 to 13 percent."

According to Caldwell, the support staff has seen major transition in trying to meet pay equity requirements set by the state. "The next two years should bring us to a level in which we should now have pay equity," he added.

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