Revised salary package on table | SteamboatToday.com

Revised salary package on table

Susan Cunningham

All Steamboat Springs School District employees — teachers, staff and administrators — might receive a one-time payment of 1 percent of their salaries this school year.

That’s a draft condition the Collaborative Bargaining Team has agreed to during the past few weeks, Superintendent Donna Howell said after Monday’s School Board meeting.

The School Board approved a 2005-06 budget Monday night that included the almost $106,000 that the one-time payment would cost the district.

District employees will consider the draft salary package today, Howell said. Meetings to present the package are scheduled for Wednesday at each school, during which staff will have an opportunity to ask questions. Comments about the draft package will be accepted through Friday.

The Collaborative Bargaining Team then will meet Monday to consider those comments, decide on a final package and put it out for a staff vote next week.

The package proposed at the end of the 2004-05 school year failed when it went to a vote of distict employees.

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Howell said the changes to the current draft package include:

An across-the-board, one-time 1 percent payment for all employees.

At least a 2.1 percent raise for the dozen employees who in the previous plan would have received less than a 2 percent raise.

Clarification that employees who are part time and would only receive part-time benefits can opt out of the benefits program instead of having to pay the remaining cost of getting benefits.

Minor alterations to the previously proposed changes to the annual leave policy.

According to the budget approved by the School Board, the increase in revenues and expenditures balances out to a deficit of about $107,000, almost the exact cost of the proposed 1 percent payment.

That deficit will be made up with funds now in reserves that the School District received as a one-time source of revenue during the 2003-04 school year from the re-selling of bonds.

The budget, which had to be approved by Oct. 15, also includes an increase over expected expenditures of $240,000 for additional staff, and an increase over expected expenditures for transportation of $30,000 to offset the rising cost of fuel.

Those additional costs, and others, will be offset by revenues from higher-than-expected enrollment as well as anticipated funding for staff salaries from the Steamboat Springs Education Fund Board.

In other business:

The School Board had a short discussion about the Steamboat Springs Education Fund Board’s current budgeting process. The discussion originally was scheduled for two hours, but in a revised agenda, it was scheduled for 15 minutes. School Board President Paula Stephenson said there had been some miscommunication between the School Board and Fund Board, and some School Board members could not make Fund Board meetings. She said discussions about what the Fund Board should consider funding were best put on hold until after the upcoming election, when voters will decide on referendums C and D. Fund Board President Robin Crossan gave a short background about the Fund Board’s budgeting process.

The School Board heard from officials from each district school about their school’s progress last year toward its goals and what its goals for the current school year were. The School Board also heard progress reports about the elementary school Spanish program, the elementary school Montessori program and the district’s alternative school programs.

The School Board discussed a schedule of public meetings to gather comments about future plans for facilities, including Soda Creek Elementary School and the George P. Sauer Human Services Center. The first of more than a dozen meetings will be held Oct. 25.

— To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail scunningham@steamboatpilot.com