School Board OKs raises: JPS administrators to receive 5 percent; support staff 6 percentAdministrators and support staff in Jamestown Public Schools received raises of 5 percent and 6 percent, respectively, at Monday’s School Board meeting.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Administrators and support staff in Jamestown Public Schools received raises of 5 percent and 6 percent, respectively, at Monday’s School Board meeting.
The Jamestown Public School Board approved the annual raises for the 2012-2013 school year, among much discussion on Monday.
“It’s very fun to give raises; it’s very fun to express our appreciation monetarily. But for the last year or two we’ve been given information about the deficits we are faced with and dealing with,” said Shelly Jystad, board member.
The district faces a general fund deficit of about $850,000 and Jystad said even though the 5 percent raise was budgeted for, it will still be something the district will have to deal with for years.
“Deficits are built into next year’s budget, so will be a percentage raise be built in this year, and the year after and the year after,” she said.
Superintendent Bob Toso estimated after the meeting that the 5 percent raise will cost the district $50,000 a year not including benefits.
Board member Rosemary McDougall said administrators have a demanding job here and they also have the education and the debt that goes along with obtaining the skills for their jobs.
“I feel like the administrators now feel like they aren’t being treated as carefully and as professionally as they should be,” McDougall said.
Earlier McDougall said she talked with a couple of administrators who said they feel like the time and effort that went into teacher contract negotiations last summer should be given to administrators.
“They get paid more because they should,” she said. “They have a different type of responsibility, it’s a whole different set of factors and I wouldn’t be able to know everything about it.”
For School Board Vice President Tanya Ostlie, her vote came down to the budget and the projected deficit.
“My concern in all of this is simply the budget,” Ostlie said. “... My concern is where are we going to make up those dollars when they’re built into salaries?”
The 5 percent raise for 14 administrators passed 6-3 with board members Gary Peterson, Greg Allen, Heidi Larson, Gail Martin, Diane Hanson and McDougall in favor. Jystad, Ostlie and Roy Musland were opposed.
The vote also included an additional 5 percent raise for Director of Elementary Education David Saxberg, upon completion of his doctorate degree.
Later the board approved a 6 percent raise for support staff.
“We’re still looking at huge budget shortfalls, and this one will hurt me but I’m going to vote no,” Musland said.
The vote passed 7-2 with Larson, McDougall, Ostlie, Hanson, Allen, Jystad and Peterson in favor. Martin and Musland were opposed.
The School Board also tabled discussion on changing the contract of Rae Ann Vandrovec, technology/staff development coordinator for the district.
Vandrovec expressed the desire to move to the teachers’ salary schedule, Toso said. She does possess a teaching certificate, but currently is not paid as much.
Toso said he has tried to give her increases in salary but it still lags behind in comparison with that of teachers.
He also said if Vandrovec was given a raise, or her contract was moved from 10 months to nine months, if could create issues in the technology department. This is because she would earn more in a day than her supervisor and other members of the technology department.
“The salaries with this group you’re discussing here, it’s kind of like a house of cards,” Toso said. “The things you’re changing here is not a simple matter.”
Ostlie said the board has dealt with this issue before, and if Vandrovec was granted the increase other employees could seek similar deals.
“I’m getting very concerned about this because this is the third year in a row we’ve had a discussion about the same individual,” she said.
The vote to table passed 5-4 with Hanson, Musland, McDougall, Larson and Jystad in favor, and Peterson, Ostlie, Martin and Allen opposed. It is expected to be discussed at the next meeting.
The board also approved the hire Peg Wagner for the principal opening at Gussner Elementary School at a salary of $82,500.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com