The Jamestown Public School Board and school administrators agreed to a two-year contract on Wednesday, Sept. 4, including salary increases of 2% in the first year and 5% in the second year.
Wednesday was the fourth meeting between the two parties, with negotiations starting in June. The administration contract includes principals and the technology adviser, while the superintendent and business manager positions are negotiated separately.
"We want comparable and competitive salaries for our staff," said Jennifer Schmidt, president of the school board. "Our goal is to attract quality staff to our school district with competitive wages and salaries."
The school board studied salaries in other school districts to use as a comparison for administration in Jamestown. Schmidt said the board uses Valley City and Mandan for administrative comparisons, while Fargo is used to analyze teaching wages.
"With administrators, there's no apples to apples," said Luke Anderson, principal of Gussner Elementary School. "Across the state, all districts do things differently."
The school board is also in the midst of contract negotiations with the Jamestown Education Association for a two-year contract for teachers. The two parties are scheduled to meet again Tuesday, Sept. 17.
"We've never lost focus on the teachers," Schmidt said. "We want all our salaries and wages to be attractive."
In June, the school board raised wages for support staff across the district by $1 an hour, or $1.50 for a staff member with over 11 years of experience. Support staff includes teacher aides, custodians and cafeteria cooks.
"The goal isn't to catch up to them (other districts)," Schmidt said. "We're just working toward having competitive wages in Jamestown."