LCS board OKs 3 percent pay increase for teachers

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

LE MARS — Less than a month after presenting initial bargaining proposals the Le Mars Community Education Association (LCEA) and the Le Mars Community School District have reached a tentative agreement for the 2023-2024 Master Contract with teachers receiving a 3 percent pay increase.

The board of education took action on the agreement at their March 13 meeting.

The agreement calls for an increase in teacher base pay of $1,224.45 to $42,040, without TSS included in this figure, as well as aging the salary schedule.

This will increase the cost of base wage salary to the district by $536,285 for 2023-2024, according to Superintendent Dr. Steve Webner.

The agreement also includes that all references to the 2022-2023 school year will be changed to 2023-2024 in the master contract.

It was on Feb. 16 that the LCEA proposed an increase to the teacher base pay by $1,500 (4.11 percent) to $42,315. That proposal would have increased the cost of the total package by $632,602.49.

The school board came back with a proposal to age the salary schedule and increase teacher base pay by $1,224.45 (3.0 percent) to $42,040, without TSS included in this figure.

TSS funds are Teacher Salary Supplement dollars which is a lump sum paid to teachers in addition to their salary.

Webner noted he appreciated that members of the LCEA were in attendance at Monday’s meeting as well as the bargaining the two groups had.

“We’ve got an outstanding group of teachers here and this will definitely keep Le Mars toward the top in the state in terms of average teacher pay, so we appreciate everything they do,” Webner said.

“And I recommend that you approve this agreement,” he told board members.

Board President Angela Catton followed up by thanking board members Kyle Plathe and Jane Arnold for serving on the district’s bargaining team.

“And thank you to the teachers’ association as well for working with us on that,” she said.

All board members voted yes on the motion to approve the agreement.

The next item of business for the board was to approve the teaching and coaching contracts to be issued for the 2023-2024 school year.

The list of contracts for 154 individuals was also unanimously approved by the board.

The board also approved the extension of Superintendent Dr. Steve Webner’s contract for one additional year. That approval was in accordance with board policy 301.2.

Catton reminded board members that the superintendent contract is a three-year contract, and Webner has two years left on that contact. This will extend his contract to the third year.

Board members unanimously approved extending the superintendent’s contract for one additional year.

The board approved moving the regular meeting for April from April 10 to April 11, due to the 10th being in the district’s spring vacation time.

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