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First JPS administrative negotations begin

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The Jamestown Public School Board and school administrators entered their first-ever contract negotiations Monday, with the administrators proposing a salary schedule based partially on individual experience and education.

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The administrators include all JPS principals and assistant principals, the district’s food service director, technology coordinator and athletic/activity director, and the director of the James Valley Career and Technology Center.

The administration approached the School Board seeking contract negotiations for the first time this year, said Superintendent Robert Lech, who is not included as an administrator in these negotiations.

The administrators’ proposed salary schedule formula is based individually on position responsibility factor, length of work year, experience and education. A maximum of 10 years of out-of-district administrative experience will be considered when placing newly hired administrators on the salary schedule.

In the administrators’ proposed salary schedule, salary increases for the 2013-2014 school year would range from 3.8 percent to 14.8 percent based on the salary schedule’s factors.

The administrators are not seeking additional salary increases or yearly salary increases outside of the salary schedule, said Gail Wold, middle school principal.

School Board President Roger Haut said the School Board’s proposal was to give the administrators a 4 percent raise in salary, but he and the other board members hadn’t been aware that the administrators would propose a salary schedule.

“We thought it was going to be dollars we were talking about,” he said.

“The board is pretty firm on that 4 percent,” Haut said. “As far as an agreement and a schedule … I think the board would probably be open to visiting about that.”

Other points in the administrators’ proposal were:

* The number of work days will be outlined for each administrator on an annual work calendar, because many administrators work more days than the official school calendar of 184 days.

* The superintendent will assign and review general work responsibilities with each administrator, and there will be formal consultation by the superintendent with affected administrators before adjusting those responsibilities.

* Each administrator will be granted personal leave based the amount of work days in his or her contract.

No changes were requested for the sick leave, professional dues or insurance aspects of the administrators’ contracts.

The School Board decided to structure the administrative negotiations similarly to the teacher negotiations that happen every two years, Lech said. However, the board is not required to negotiate with administrators like with teachers.

After the administrators proposed their request Monday, Haut asked if their proposal was inspired by other schools’ administration contracts.

Wold said most of the proposal came from adjusting the administration’s current handbook.

“We currently don’t operate under a salary schedule, so the wording for those sections we pulled together from other schools and spent multiple meetings together to come to an agreement as an administrative team,” Wold said.

The next administrative negotiations session will be scheduled for some time in December.

Sun reporter Charly Haley can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at chaley@jamestownsun.com

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Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
(701) 780-1102
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