Archive for Sunday, June 23, 2013

School board to vote on union contract

June 23, 2013

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The Lawrence school board will vote Monday night on a new master contract that would give teachers, counselors and other certified personnel in the district an average 3-percent pay raise next year.

That's one of several weighty subjects on the board's agenda for the 7 p.m. meeting at the district administrative office, 110 McDonald Drive.

The board will meet in executive session beginning at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the negotiations that led to the proposed contract.

That contract, which also must be ratified by members of the Lawrence Education Association, the local bargaining unit, would add $800 to each cell on the salary matrix. It would also fund what's called "vertical and horizontal" movement on the matrix, which rewards employees for each year of experience in the district, as well as additional college degrees or hours of college credit.

The pay increases are expected to add about $1.3 million in salary costs.

Other elements of the agreement call for the district to absorb the increased cost of health insurance for individual employees, and a small increase in the district's contribution to employees' 403(b) retirement savings plans, bringing the total cost of the enhancements to about $1.7 million.

Board president Vanessa Sanburn said this week that she expects the contract to be approved, although only five of the seven board members are expected to be at the meeting.

Mark Bradford, whose term on the board is ending this month, and board vice president Rick Ingram are both expected to be absent, Sanburn said.

In other business, the board will:

• Consider salary and benefit proposals for administrative and classified staff for the upcoming fiscal year that include enhancements similar to those being offered to teachers, at a cost of $176,372 for administrators and $842,186 for classified staff.

• Vote on a contract to select the Blackboard Learn software package as the tool for managing online classroom material for a five-year cost of $386,381.

• Consider a resolution authorizing the issuance and sale of $92.5 million in general obligation bonds that voters approved in the April 2 general election.

• Hear a report on a revised technology plan for the district to reflect changes in technology and information management related to the bond-funded program to expand wireless network capacity throughout the district.

• Review progress made on the board's 2012-2013 goals.

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Contact Journal-World education reporter Elliot Hughes: ehughes@ljworld.com

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