LCEA proposes 4.01 percent salary increase

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

LE MARS — The Le Mars Community Education Association presented its initial bargaining proposal for the 2021-22 contract year to the LCS board of education Monday.

Tracy Wingert, chief negotiator for the association, opened the meeting with a brief statement.

“2020 has been an unprecedented year for both the teachers and the students. The teachers of Le Mars Community School District have been asked to do more than ever before and they have done just that. They have gone above and beyond what is to be expected of any teacher.

“I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank them for all they’ve done so far, and for all they continue to do for the remainder of the school year,” he said.

The association proposes a 4.01 percent increase in the base pay to $40,315 for the 2021-22 school year.

The total package cost for this increase amounts to $558,164.26.

The 2020-21 base pay is $38,815, and was a 1.5 percent increase over the previous year.

The association offers a memorandum of understanding to participate in the Teacher Leadership Compensation program.

The association also proposes changes to three articles in the contract.

The first is for Article 7, Employee Hours, Section D. Preparation time.

Preparation time shall be assigned to each employee by the administration. This time shall enable the employee to work on lesson plans, grading, and other activities related to their assigned duties. Classroom employees shall have daily preparation time during which they shall not be assigned to any other duties as follows:

1. PK - 12th grade: Minimum of 200 minutes per week on five (5) day work week.

In Article 8, Wages, section H. Extra Compensation, the association proposes the following:

“It is desirable for each employee to have an uninterrupted preparation period each day. The practice of using a regular employee as a substitute, thereby depriving him/her of his/her preparation period, is undesirable and shall be discouraged. In those cases where regular substitutes are not available, regular employees who volunteer may be used as substitutes during their preparation time. In the absence of volunteers, an employee may be assigned to serve as a substitute. Volunteers and assigned employees shall be paid at the rate of $25 per period.”

The third changes come in Article 10 - Leaves of Absence

Under Bereavement Leave, “The policy of allowing a leave of not more than one day per contract year shall be granted in the event of the death of an employee’s friend,” the association proposes deleting the following: “The cost to the District of securing a substitute teacher for friend leave shall be deducted from the employee’s salary.”

In the Family Illness and Dependent Illness Leave, the association proposes employee be granted paid leave up to a maximum of eight (8) days per contract year, an increase from the current six days.

There were no questions or discussion following the presentation, and the five minute meeting concluded.

The school board conducted a strategy session following its 6 p.m., regular meeting Monday. The strategy session is exempt from the Iowa Open Meetings Law.

The board will present its initial bargaining proposal to the Le Mars Community Education Association at 5 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 20, at the Education Services Center.

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