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Agreement reached with teachers

Teacher salaries for the Osakis School District have been settled for the next two years, 2017-18 and 2018-19, at an increase of 3.39 percent for the first year, and 2.02 percent for the second year.

The 2016-17 salaries and benefits amount to $4,097,221. Total salaries and benefits for the 2017-18 contract are $4,236,298; for the 2018-19 contract are $4,321,862. Total package increase of 5.41 percent amounts to an increase of $224,640.

The Osakis School Board approved the new two-year contract at its Monday, Dec. 11 regular board meeting. following a 53-0 vote by the Osakis Education Association.

"The negotiation was a great process," commented Supt Randy Bergquist. "It gave an opportunity for the teachers, for the administration, and board members, to be heard. We have come to an agreement earlier than most districts across the state. There was great cooperation."

The contract includes an update in the wording of several articles.

Teachers working 30 or more hours and who qualify, will also receive not more than $270 per month for the two contract years for individual or family health and hospitalization insurance.

Full-time teachers who have worked more than 20 years with the district will be credited with three days of personal leave per year cumulative to five. Those who work less than full time will be granted personal leave based on the prorated hours they work per day, cumulative to five.

Breakdown of the numbers

The base pay for a beginning teacher holding a Bachelor of Science degree on Step 1 of the salary schedule for the 2016-17 year was $38,993.

There are 15 steps to the base salary schedule, and eight lanes, which are based on education level: BS, BS+15; BS+30; BS+45; BS+60; BS+75/MS; MS+15; and MS+30.

The maximum on the salary schedule for a teacher with an MS+30 at step 15 is $63,401.

Base pay at step one of the 2017-18 schedule will be $38,993 for BS. Maximum at MS+30 at step 15 is $65,123.

Base pay at step one of the 2018-19 schedule will be $39,293. Maximum at MS+30 at step 15 is $65,453.

In addition, Longevity/Career increments based on the number of years in the district, as well as BS/BS+ and MS/MS+ for the 2018-2019 school year only were added to the schedule. For those holding bachelor degrees plus, increase could run for $970 to $1,200. For masters degree plus, the increase ranges from $1,100 to $1,700.

Extra curricular schedule

The new contract calls for a 3 percent increase in year one, and 2.5 percent increase in year two for extra curricular coaches/advisors. There are 54 classifications for the various sports and academic activities.

Head coaches for football, volleyball, boys and girls basketball, and wrestling will receive an increase of $164 the first year to $5,622; and an increase of $141 the second year to $5,763.

Salaries for head coaches for tennis, cross country, track, softball and golf will increase to $4,312 the first year, up $126 for the first year, and $108 the second year.

Athletic Director's position increases to $6,177 the first year, up $180 the first year; and $6,331 the second year, an increase of $154 the second year.

Early Childhood schedule

The base pay for the Early Childhood teachers with no experience this year is $25.20 per hour. Under the new contract, the pay rates will increase by 5 cents per hour for the first year and five cents per hour the second year of the contract at the zero years of experience level. There are 10 steps for years of experience.

Highest rate for the current school year is $29.70 per hour with six years of experience allowed.

In the new schedule, 10 years of experience will be allowed, with the maximum rate of $31.95 per hour the first year, and $32.35 per hour the second year of the contract.

Paraprofessionals schedule

On the paraprofessional schedule, an increase of 1.75 percent was approved for year one, and an increase of 1.25 percent for year two of the contract.

Starting pay for paraprofessionals is $11.78 for the first year of the contract, and $11.93 for the second year.

The schedule has five steps, and the top of the scale is $16.76 for the first year and $16.97 for the second year for those with more than 10 years of experience.

In addition, one extra personal day per year was given the paras. Those working 15 years or more in the district will also receive an additional personal day per year.

In year two, the paras working 30 or more hours per week who quality for health insurance will receive a $9 increase per month toward their school district health insurance plan.

Paraprofessionals will be able to work up to an additional four hours per school year for staff development.