Plan calls for salary raises for staff members when they reach 11 years with district
Grafton School District teachers will receive annual salary increases recognizing their years of local service, the School Board decided last week.
The board agreed to incorporate longevity increases into the salary schedule for teachers who have been with the district at least 11 years.
The pay hikes were recommended by Supt. Mel Lightner, who has worked with Grafton Education Association representatives Mike Bergmann and James Johnson to develop an incentive system that will help attract and retain teachers.
Although state law no longer allows teachers unions to negotiate salary increases beyond cost-of-living hikes, Lightner said the longevity bumps are needed to ensure the district maintains quality instruction.
Under the new incentives, teachers with 11 years of experience in Grafton will receive annual increases of $1,250 for six years. The scale of longevity bumps, each of which will provide up to $7,500 in additional compensation, also calls for:
• Teachers with 12 years in the district to receive $1,500 annually for five years.
• Teachers with 13 years in the district to receive $1,875 annually for four years.
• Teachers with 14 years in the district to receive $2,500 annually for three years.
• Teachers with 15 years in the district to receive $3,750 annually for two years.
Lightner said the increases are expected to cost the district $84,850 in the 2014-15 school year; $98,600 in 2015-16; $88,600 in 2016-17; and $68,600 in 2017-18.
In a report to the board, Lightner said the additional pay gives the district another tool for rewarding teachers.
“The only caveat would be that the district reserves the right not to give a longevity increase in any one year when the district feels performance has been unsatisfactory,” Lightner said.
“What qualifies as unsatisfactory performance can be developed and articulated in the near future. Of the current teachers who would qualify for the longevity increase this year, there is no one who would not receive the increase.”
The board has been discussing teacher compensation since early this year as a preface to finalizing a system that incorporates base wages, incentives for professional learning opportunities, master’s degrees, longevity and other criteria.
Lightner proposed creating a teacher compensation committee that includes at least three board members and six to eight teachers, including Bergmann and Johnson. He suggested Clayton Riddle, Mike Holloway and Paul Lorge represent the board.
Lightner suggested a compensation system be presented to the board for approval by Jan. 1, 2015.