Archive for Thursday, April 24, 2008

Teachers make salary proposal

April 24, 2008

The Eudora National Education Association presented a salary proposal Friday to the Eudora USD 491 school board.

The meeting was just the second in negotiations for a new teaching contract for the 2008-09 school year.

The ENEA proposed raising the base salary by $2,400 from $32,600 to $35,000.

The union would also like to see step increases, which are how much teachers' wages increase in proportion to their experience and education.

The last contract raised the base salary $1,200 from $31,400 to $32,600, but did not add to the steps. The union's proposal also increases the movement between step columns to $600 before the master's degree column and $1,200 thereafter.

Teachers currently receive $300 before the master's degree column with a raise of $1,400 after receiving the degree. However, teachers continue to receive $300 a column after receiving their master's.

ENEA representatives said a state aid increases totaling about $340,000 plus a surplus of $422,000 in technology lease funds would be made available. They also noted for each new student to the district, USD 491 would receive $5,700, and a recent enrollment study by RSP Associates estimated an enrollment increase of 33 for the 2008-09 school year.

According to a salary survey of other Frontier League schools done by the ENEA, Eudora ranked near the bottom in salary.

ENEA representative and science teacher at Eudora High School Eric Magette told board members that just as they didn't settle for mediocrity in the classroom, the wages of the teachers shouldn't be mediocre, either.

The presentation impressed board members and they did not make a counter proposal because they said they were unprepared for the degree of detail featured in the ENEA's proposal.

Board member Brenda Clark praised the union for making such a detailed proposal so early in negotiations.

However, board members did say some of the technology lease surplus would not have permanent availability because a new lease would have to be signed.

Board members also told ENEA representatives they most likely would agree to make five days available for teachers to attend KNEA functions, which was a request at the previous meeting.

The board will meet in an executive session Monday and hopes to come back with a counteroffer for teachers at the next meeting, which will be at 4:30 p.m. May 2 in the EMS library.

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