School board OKs salary increases
Just two weeks after East Grand School District’s Board of Education approved salary increases for teachers and administrators the board expanded the scope of pay raises to include the rest of the district’s employees, who fall under the heading of classified staff.
On June 5 the school board approved an across the board salary increase for classified employees to include all pay steps throughout the district’s classified employee salary schedule. According to East Grand Superintendent Frank Reeves the new pay structure includes a five percent increase to the district’s base salary for classified employees.
“We completely restructured the salary schedule to be a little more consistent year after year,” Reeves said. “What the board found when we looked at that those numbers throughout May, there was no consistency. One year there was a 10 cent raise, then a five cent raise, then a 30 cent raise.”
Classified employees for the district will now receive a 20 cent raise every year for the first five years of employment. That figure grows to 25 or 30 cents annually for employees with six to 10 years experience. The rate of pay raises increase again for employees in their 11th to 15th years of employment with the district. Reeves said the new schedule is meant to reward employees for longevity with the district. The new classified employee salary schedule is expected to increase the district’s payroll expenses by $220,072 over payroll for the most recent school year.
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According to Reeves roughly 50 percent of East Grand School District employees fall under the classified salary schedule including bus drivers, food service workers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, district office personnel and district technology staff. In total the district employs around 200 people, 100 of which are considered classified.
“Pretty much anyone not a teacher or a principal (is classified),” Reeves said.
The board of education decided to move forward with a salary increase for classified employees, as well as an increase for teachers and administrators approved previously, in part because of a salary study conducted earlier this year. According to Reeves East Grand was compared to seven other similar districts, comparable in size and demographics and located within resort areas.
“It showed we are quite a bit behind on all salaries,” Reeves said. “Certain areas of classified (salaries) were on average 30 to 40 percent behind what other districts are paying. That really got us digging into schedules.”
Reeves added that fiscally conservative budget practices by district school boards over the past decade helped the district build up a “healthy reserve” of funds.
“We had a little extra money and could afford to start playing catch up,” Reeves said. “We are still not caught up but it gives us a step forward to get on par with other districts like us.”
Reeves said he was appreciative of the boards decision to increase salaries for classified employees, which he said would make it easier for the district to hire and keep employees.
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