One percent payment raises concern | SteamboatToday.com

One percent payment raises concern

Susan Cunningham

A proposed salary and benefits package for Steamboat Springs School District employees could be revised to exclude administrators from receiving a one-time bonus payment. But that doesn’t mean high-level school officials won’t receive the bonus.

Earlier this week, school officials discussed a draft salary and benefits package that included an across-the-board bonus of 1 percent of an employee’s salary. Giving the one-time payment to all employees was the fairest thing to do, Superintendent Donna Howell said.

But concerns arose Wednesday about the Collaborative Bargaining Team negotiating salary changes for administrative positions.

Howell said she and the School Board members who are part of the Collaborative Bargaining Team hope to propose a new package that grants the one-time payment only to teachers and staff members.

If employees approve that package, the School Board could hold two votes at its next meeting: one to approve the package for teachers and support staff and one to give a one-time, 1-percent payment to district administrators.

Brad Kindred, president of the Steamboat Springs Education Association, said the one-time payment for all employees concerns some teachers.

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Teachers think that administrators got a “healthy raise” this spring, Kindred said. And a 1-percent bonus payment for an administrator represents a larger amount of money than a 1-percent payment for a teacher or support staff member.

Kindred said there also was confusion about why the Collaborative Bargaining Team was deciding on a proposal that affected administrative salaries, because the bargaining group never has negotiated for administrators.

Kindred said he isn’t sure the draft salary and benefits package will pass if the bonus payment for administrators remains part of the deal.

Barb Tuchlinsky, who represents district aides on the Collaborative Bargaining Team, said the changes in the draft package addressed most of the problems support staff members had with a salary package voted down in June.

Howell said that if approved, the $106,000 cost of a one-time payment for all employees would come out of reserves.