The Clay Community Classroom Teacher's Association (CCCTA) provided The Brazil Times Tuesday afternoon with more information regarding the stalled contract negotiations and proposals.
Russ True, the CCCTA representative, brought a copy of the school board's proposal that was distributed to the association.
A copy of the CCCTA comparisons of current salary and total compensation to the proposed salary and compensation was also included.
After a comparison of the numbers on the board's proposal and paid ad in the Monday edition of The Times to the CCCTA spreadsheet, some discrepancies were found.
First, the salary schedule is defined differently by both organizations.
The school corporation lists the schedule by salary and net salary after 3 percent is taken out for the Teachers Retirement Fund (TRF).
The net salary schedule is what is presented in the ad.
On the CCCTA spreadsheet, the net salary appears as "salary only" next to columns of "Total Compensation: Salary + Tax Deferred."
Total compensation refers to the amount of pre-tax money that the corporation contributes to six different retirement funds annually.
Part of the board's proposal is a decrease from 5 percent of salary to 2 percent of salary contributed to the funds.
This is separate from the contribution to the 3 percent contributed to the TRF.
According to the corporation's lawyer, Michelle Cooper of Bose, McKinney, and Evans law firm in Indianapolis, there is no corporation documentation of how much is contributed to the funds by step on the salary schedule.
She said there is no definite amount given because contribution varies on the salary schedule and TRF status.
True responded that this applies only to the state retirement funds, and that Cooper was correct in regards to that fund.
He also said the CCCTA spreadsheet gives amounts for local funds and severance packages.
This is important because the CCCTA shows that, although there is a step-by-step increase in net salary, the decrease in the amount contributed to the retirement funds would mean a decrease in total compensation for each step on the salary schedule under the new proposal.
This is not to say all teachers would receive less compensation from one year to the next.
Some educators with master's degrees, especially those with less experience, would see a decrease in compensation from one year to the next.
When asked about the decrease, Cooper responded that every teacher will receive an increase in net salary as they move up steps, even if the amount is less than a teacher makes currently at that same level.
She also said that the board's proposal tries to address the difference in salary for veteran teachers in Clay Community Schools compared to state averages.
Teachers with no post-graduate credit would not see the decrease in total compensation until they reach step 23 on the schedule.
Teachers with a master's degree and beyond would not be negatively affected by the decrease from as early as step 18.
True said the teachers viewed the proposal as an insult because the veteran teachers refuse the idea of "selling out" younger and less experienced teachers.
Another controversial discrepancy between the board's ad and the salary schedule is the presentation of teacher's receiving a 12.9 percent to 15 percent increase in pay since the last contract was signed.
The percentages listed are true comparisons between the pay of a teacher on the current schedule and what they would earn under the new proposal, taking into consideration that the teacher has moved up five steps on the schedule since the last contract.
The percentages can be misleading.
On the current schedule, a teacher moving up five steps would see a 9.9 percent rise in net salary between their first and fifth year.
The proposed schedule would give that same teacher a 9 percent raise between their first and fifth year.
Corporation Business Manager Mike Fowler said that the corporation wanted to give a "comparison of where you were when we last settled to where you are today."
Cooper said the ad that was placed by the school corporation in Monday's edition of The Times to inform the public about the board's most recent salary proposal, and that the board believes the public should be informed about contract negotiations.
In response, the CCCTA is placing a paid ad in this upcoming Monday's paper.