LITTLE FALLS -- Teachers in the Little Falls School District will see an increase in their paychecks for the first time since the fall of 2000.
The Little Falls School Board approved the 2001-02 and 2002-03 teacher contract Monday with a 7.42 percent salary increase. Teachers received a 3.51 percent increase for 2001-02 and a 3.91 percent increase for the coming school year.
With the salary increase, a beginning teacher will earn $26,428 at the end of the contract, based on the salary schedule. The salary schedule does not include pay for lane changes and retiree and severance pay. A beginning teacher two years ago made $25,318. A teacher at the top of the salary schedule scale will earn $48,410 in the final year of the contract compared with $46,376 two years ago.
The school district will pay $11.1 million in teacher salaries for 2001-02 and $11.4 million for the coming school year.
School board chair Bob Keeton said this morning that no salary increase helps the district's statutory operating debt, but the district will be OK to handle the increase for the next two years.
Benefits for health insurance increased in the contract and the school district will contribute the same amount for the premium as it had in previous school years. In 2001-02, the school district contributed $2,656 for the single plan or about 77 percent of the cost and $5,648 for the family plan or about 66 percent of the cost.
Health insurance premiums increased for 2001-02 by 9.02 percent from the previous school year. This school year the premiums will increase 4.42 percent.
Board member Clarence Dobmeier said this morning that the increase in benefits was not as high for this school year because of fewer staff and because of a change in the number of teachers who are enrolled in the single plan and family plan.
Keeton said teachers returning this school year will receive a health insurance package similar to what other teachers in the state are getting who are with a school district in a statutory operating debt.
Pat Harrington of the Bureau of Mediation Service assisted the school district and the Little Falls Education Association, the teacher's union, in reaching a settlement. The parties met four times in the past several months.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.