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Board looking out for non-teaching staff in midst of teacher contract talks

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Each time financial cuts to the General Fund have been made in the past, the Clay Community School Board cut administrative salaries and benefits and non-certified staff salaries, wages and benefits.

Board President Steve Grigsby is concerned about the money and benefits paid to administrators and non-certified staff.

"I don't know many places where managers and people in positions of authority are paid less than the people they manage," Grigsby said.

"Our administrative staff members are paid well below the state level. It is difficult keeping good staff members when they can leave the county to do the same job in another corporation for more money."

At Wednesday's public work session the topic of fringe benefits and salary increases became a debate of paying people what they are worth and doing what is financially best for the corporation.

"If we can't be competitive on wages for these people, then we can be competitive with their insurance," board member Terry Barr said.

Grigsby agreed.

"I'm not aware of many corporations that don't pay their administrative staff's full health insurance," he said.

While the final decision about benefits and salary increases can only be made after Business Manager Randy Burns' budget analysis and recommendation, board member Len Fischer urged caution with any decision that would impact the budget.

"We are no more flushed with cash than we were 90 days ago," he said. "We were reluctant to do it, but we capped the insurance to get control over the costs."

The health insurance can either be (1) uncapped and returned to the original plan of the corporation paying the bulk of the policy premium and administrators paying a penny on each dollar, which will cost the board approximately $350,000; (2) a "cafeteria" health insurance plan with options for the staff to choose from will cost the Board approximately $355,000; or (3) the staff can choose between the two options, which will cost approximately $425,000.



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