Superintendent Steve Jones proposes smaller salary increase for himself

Staff Writer

Little Falls Community Schools Superintendent Stephen Jones may be getting a pay raise this year, but he said he should receive a smaller raise than other district employees will get.

The request came as the School Board was agreeing to contracts with its teachers and business manager.

At its June 15 meeting, the Board agreed to give teachers a 1.5 percent raise for the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school year.

The move was part of a tentative agreement between the teachers’ union and the district that also led to simplification of parts of the contract and a cost-sharing program between the union and the district for health insurance.

If all bargaining groups in the district agree to it, Assistant Superintendent Aaron Sinclair said, the cost of getting advisers in to help keep costs down would be paid for by a contribution from every district employee.

Board member Sharon Ballou said the teachers in the district were great to work with and both sides seemed to want to come to an agreement.

“I think everyone has the same goal in mind,” Ballou said.

The agreement will be final following a meeting of the union. Sinclair said if this can be done before July 1, the district will meet the next fiscal year and not have to adjust teachers’ pay afterward, saving the business office time.

A 1 percent increase to business manager Nancy Henderson’s salary was also approved for her last year before retirement.

Then came the change requested by Jones, the only employee whose contract was not up this year, asking the Board to reduce his raise from 1.75 percent to 1 percent.

“I felt it was for the best to ask you to reduce it to 1 percent for the third and final year of this contract,” Jones said.

The move had members of the Board thanking Jones and saying the move showed his integrity.

“I think that speaks to your integrity with our work groups,” Board member Brad Laager said.

It is good for union negotiations, Laager said, when they see the superintendent leading the way.

The motion was unanimously approved by the Board.

Little Falls School Board Briefs

In other business June 15, the Little Falls School Board:

  • Set a special meeting for Thursday, at 5 p.m. in the Morrison County Government Center Board Room to approve the food service low fund balance and unpaid meal charges policies;
  • Approved decreasing the sub pay rate for educational interpreters and a third party building coordinator from 28.01 an hour to $25.21 an hour;
  • Changed the district’s budget parameters to reflect the 2 percent increase in the state funding formula and the tentative salary agreement with the teachers;
  • Approved the 2017-2018 capital expenditures budget, with revenue estimated at $352,539. The money will all be spent, otherwise it would go into reserves and could only be used in items listed in state statutes; and
  • Approved changing the coding for the district’s Continuing Education Center (CEC) building from rental to a leased building. The lease from Earl LeMieur will expire in 20 years.

The next meeting of the Little Falls School Board is Thursday, at 5 p.m. in the Board Room at the Morrison County Government Center.