May 21, 2014

Pay hikes approved

By CHERYL ODDEN

Having previously completed contract negotiations for the upcoming school year, the Garrison School Board turned its attention to pay increases for other staff members.

In order to attract new faculty and to remain competitive with other area school districts, board members approved a base salary of $37,100 for certified staff. The base salary will stipulate that the cost of the teachers’ retirement plan will be split with the district providing half the funding.

By comparison, base salaries at Max and Washburn are $36,700 and $36,100, respectively. Costs for TFFR (Teachers Fund for Retirement) are also split at those districts.

The base salary at Underwood is $32,000, however the Underwood School District pays the entire TFFR cost.

Non-certified staff members will also see larger paychecks during the upcoming school year. The board agreed to a $1.25 per hour pay hike for non-certified personnel.

An increase in compensation for route bus drivers remains unsettled, however. During Monday’s regular board meeting, board members agreed that a pay hike is needed.

Superintendent Steve Brannan proposed a $8 per day increase that would bring daily compensation to $50 per day. Joe Price, a longtime route driver, attended the meeting. When asked for input, Price said he thinks that drivers deserve a greater increase – one that should include a bump in per-mile compensation – "even if only a couple cents per mile."

Price noted that driver


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