School Board holds off on administrators’ payAfter more than four months of teacher contracts negotiations, the Jamestown Public School Board wasn’t prepared Tuesday to vote on administrators’ salaries without some data.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
After more than four months of teacher contracts negotiations, the Jamestown Public School Board wasn’t prepared Tuesday to vote on administrators’ salaries without some data.
Superintendent Bob Toso said the recommendation was for a 5 percent raise.
Currently the 21 salaries for the principals, social workers, information technology department, adult farm management staff, a speech pathology assistant and the business manager total $1.4 million, said Sally Ost, business manager. That total includes a 4.82 percent raise that Ost budgeted for.
She said the new dollars for the district would be about $5,000 more than what she budgeted for.
Roy Musland, School Board member, said he wanted to see the total salary figures, the average salary, benefit summary and where the district ranks in the state for the total amount paid.
Board members who participated in the contract discussions with the Jamestown Education Association also supported getting more information before a decision.
“We should have the data to discuss this like we did with everything else,” said Tanya Ostlie, one of three board members who sat through negotiations.
Gary Peterson, another one of the three members at negotiations, agreed.
“We also owe it to them (JEA) to treat everybody else here the same way,” Peterson said.
School Board President Greg Allen agreed.
“To make a decision on this without the data would not be a wise thing to do,” Allen said.
Diane Hanson, the newest member to the School Board, said she’s heard lots of talk about the difficult financial situation the district will face with planned deficit spending for the 2012-2013 school year.
Hanson stressed the need for a detailed examination of data before reaching a conclusion.
“I can’t believe we’d vote on a 5 percent raise without looking at the figures,” she said.
The board unanimously approved tabling to discussion for the next meeting.
Hanson’s presence on the board came up as an issue later in the meeting.
She replaced former board member Scott Walch on July 18. Before then she had been a substitute teacher for the district.
District policy states that an employee can’t be on the School Board and Hanson chose to stay on the board.
“For now I think I can do more work here that’s more meaningful,” she said.
Toso said there’s always a demand for substitute teachers and that they provide a valuable service for the district. Two board members also said their children thought highly of Hanson’s services as a substitute.
The superintendent said he didn’t want to lose Hanson as a substitute but was not going to argue with the district’s attorney over the matter.
“I still don’t agree that substitute teachers are employees,” Toso said. “They don’t sign a contract and they decide when they go to work — I don’t feel they are employees.”
In other news, the School Board recognized the SKILLS USA team from Jamestown for placing fifth at nationals. The team consisted of Lindsey Emo, Stacey Pesek, Brittany Boomgaarden and Ashley Mueller.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org