By Dr. Brian J. Blake
---- — KINGSTON - In my last column, I provided an overview of the Deliberative Session for the Sanborn Regional School District and talked about the budget being proposed by the District. In this column, I would like to spend a few minutes discussing the Professional and Support Staff Agreements that also appear on the Warrant this year.
Let’s start with the Professional staff (Teachers) contract. The Sanborn Regional School Board has negotiated and reached a three-year agreement with the Sanborn Regional Teacher’s Association. We are currently in the second year of a two-year agreement. Negotiations began back in June of this year and the contract was finalized in December. The contract provides a 1% increase the first year, 1.5% in the second year, and 2% increase in the third year along with a “step” in each year of the contract. The average percent increase in the first year of the contract is 3.46%.
The district continues to pay 90% of the lowest cost plan in the district. Teachers are responsible for paying the additional amounts for higher priced plans. The estimated cost to the taxpayers is $0.39 per thousand (of Assessed Valuation) in Kingston and $0.51 per thousand in Newton, for the first year. This contract will allow the District to remain competitive with surrounding towns. It will help us to attract and retain high quality teachers and continue to provide our students with the high level of education that the community has come to expect. Language in the contract also provides for improved management of our buildings by assigning duties at all levels.
The Support Staff agreement is a two-year contract. The two-year contract was specifically negotiated so that in the future, only one contract per year would be presented to the voters. Under the provisions of this contract, the support staff would receive a 2% increase plus a “step” in each year of the contract. The average percent increase the first year is 4.05%.
The support staff receives the same health insurance benefit, with the district contribution being capped at 90% of the lowest cost plan. Support staff is responsible for paying the difference in higher cost plans. The estimated cost to the taxpayers for the first year of the contract is $0.07 per thousand in Kingston and $0.10 per thousand in Newton. This contract will also help us to remain competitive, attract and retain high quality staff, and protect our investment in our current staff.
If you have any questions regarding the budget or the collective bargaining agreements, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.