Steamboat School Board approves salary increases | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat School Board approves salary increases

— Steamboat Springs School District's 286 employees can expect to see a 2 percent base salary increase on their January paychecks.

At a short special meeting Tuesday night, the Steamboat Springs School Board voted unanimously to approve the salary increase that will cost the district $272,523.

Babette Dickson, president of the Steamboat Springs Education Association and a teacher at Steamboat Springs High School, thanked the board for what she called a unanimous showing of support for district staff.

"We have worked very hard the past few years, and I think you made a very good decision," she said at the end of the 10-minute meeting.

Survey results released by the district's Collaborative Bargaining Team, which negotiated the pay increase, showed 190 of the 205 district employees voted for the compensation package.

Dickson said that because the district's budget this year did not allow for a step increase, the district settled on a 2 percent retroactive pay increase for all of its employees as a compromise.

"This is something we are very excited about," Dickson said. "It's not like we won the lottery here, but this is a gesture to recognize the work we have done."

School Board President Brian Kelly said Tuesday's vote was the result of two months of negotiations.

"It's been back and forth, but we have an outstanding staff," he said. "It was time to step up and find something acceptable for all parties."

The pay increase will come from an estimated $300,000 the school district added to its budget this year because of a student enrollment increase of more than 50 students, Dickson said.

The School Board last year approved $290,711 worth of step increases for district faculty and staff, and the 2 percent base salary increase approved Tuesday will be applied retroactively to employees' contracts, which started in September. Their new, increased salary will carry forward.

Board member Robin Crossan praised the district's staff after the vote.

"I want to thank everyone from the folks at the elementary school to the folks at the high school, from the bus drivers to the custodial staff and our food service workers because it takes a whole village to raise a kid," Crossan said.

— To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email ScottFranz@SteamboatToday.com