June 12, 2014

School, teachers reach agreement

By Jerry W. Kram

The Parshall School District reached an agreement with the Parshall Education Association over the teacher contracts for the 2014-15 school year.

Superintendent John Weidner said there were no significant changes in the contract as far as work rules and conditions. He said the school negotiates salaries as part of a total compensation package, which includes benefits such as pension contributions and insurance. The increase for the total package was about 8 percent, Weidner said.

"I walk through the total cost associated with an individual and put it in a spreadsheet," Weidner said. "Some of the increase was in health insurance. There was an across the board increase of $1,500. That’s for the returning teachers."

The board also took up the issue of teacher residences, approving a rent schedule that failed to pass at its last meeting. Stacey Roberts offered an amendment to increase all of the rental units by $25 a month and the two condos in the Rockview Plaza by $50 a month. The motion died for lack of a second. Ramona Two Shields voted against the rent schedule. She had opposed any rent increase for the teachers in a previous meeting. The motion passed 4-1. The council then passed a lease agreement for the district’s teacher housing.

The board spent a great deal of time ironing out details in a "pet addendum" to the lease agreement that will limit new teachers to a single pet. Current teachers will be able to keep the pets they currently own, but will not be allowed to replace them. The fee for having a pet was set at $750 or $50 per month per pet. Weidner asked the board if they would make the fee refundable.

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