School Board approves raises

By Jessica Cejnar, The Triplicate December 16, 2013 06:14 pm

A month after teachers working for the Del Norte County Unified School District received pay raises, the School Board on Thursday approved salary increases for confidential employees and classified and certificated 

administrators.

The Board is also poised to approve a pay raise for the district’s classified staff. Trustees unanimously authorized the district to present the tentative agreement between itself and the local chapter of the California School Employees Association to the public. The School Board is expected to vote on the agreement Monday.

Under the approved resolutions, the district’s confidential employees, which include staff in its human resources department, will receive a 2 percent ongoing pay increase and a 1 percent one-time salary increase that will expire on June 30.

The district’s classified and certificated administrators will receive a 2 percent increase, according to Superintendent Don Olson. The number of personal discretion days for confidential employees, classified and certificated administrators will also increase from three to five, Olson said. 

Confidential employees, classified and certificated administrators will also receive retiree medical benefits, although the exact amount will still need to be negotiated. Olson said the amount will not exceed $16,008, which is currently provided to teachers.

The inclusion of retiree medical benefits came as a surprise to Board Member Frances Costello, who worked with the district as a teacher for 28 years and then as an administrator for two years. Medical benefits for retired confidential employees and administrators is necessary, she said, but she wasn’t in favor of a program that offers $16,008 in retiree medical benefits.

“As a teacher, the assumption was that administrators’ wages were so much higher than a teacher,” Costello said. “That’s why they didn’t get retirement benefits. I’m in favor of a benefit program, I’m not sure I’m in favor of that one.”

Under the tentative agreement between the district and the CSEA, classified staff will also receive a 2 percent ongoing salary increase plus a one-time pay raise of 1 percent that will expire on June 30. 

CSEA Chief Union Steward Ronnie Sorensen said her union board approved the tentative agreement prior to Thursday’s School Board meeting. 

“This is the first increase since the 2007–08 year,” she said. “Hopefully it will be sunshined and approved.”

The School Board’s special meeting will be held at 3 p.m. Monday at the district office on 301 West Washington Boulevard in Crescent City. Agendas are available at www.delnorte.k12.ca.us.

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