HILLMAN - The Hillman Community Schools Board of Education approved administrative updates that will provide a 3.5 percent raise for eight school administrators for the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. While the raises ultimately were approved, board member Charles Arbour consistently voted against all of the raises, board members Stu Scramlin and Matt Noffze also voted against some of the raises, but all raises were approved by the majority.
However, before the raises were voted on, Lorriane Chappa, first grade teacher and representative of the teachers union, read a letter to the board representing Hillman teachers comments on the proposed 3.5 percent increase in salary for the next three years for the eight employees working under an administrative contract.
"First of all, we would like it to be perfectly clear that it is not our desire to prevent the raises from occurring ... Rather, what we would ask is that we teachers be treated on par with those in administration," Chappa said. "We recently settled a three-year contract with a zero percent increase in salaries. We did receive steps and stipends, which we do appreciate, but they do not come close to a 3.5 percent increase over three years."
According to Chappa, the increase will amount to a 10.87 percent raise in the given time period. She said the HEA and teachers are asking for the same increases and would reopen the contract, give back any stipends, and take a 3.5 percent accumulative raises for the next three years.
"Furthermore, we believe the ESP contract should also be settled immediately, giving our bus drivers, cooks, and secretaries a 3.5 percent accumulative raise for three years," Chappa said.
During public comment Chappa read the letter, but did not receive comments or feedback from the board, except for a thank you from President Brad McLaren. However, the board took action on the raises and approved a 3.5 percent raise to Shawn Olson as the superintendent, and a raise as elementary school principal.
"Our rates our comparable to their steps, which is a raise," Olson said. "Our daily rate is also significantly lower than the teachers rate and we are responsible for more hours and working all year. We compared averages on this one, and did our homework."
Michael Leskowhich, secondary principal, also received a 3.5 percent raise along with Randy Herbek, maintenance supervisor, Joseph LaFleche, transportation supervisor, Jeff Powers, food service director, Jill Olsen, business manager, Lorilee McGee, administrative assistant, and Barry Jones, athletic director and academic administrator.
Arbour consistently voted against all raises, and said he did not believe he was completely informed on the situation. Scramlin voted with Arbour against Leskowhich's raise, and Arbour, Scramlin, and Noffze voted against Jones' raise.
"If all employees are not treated equally, the board will be admitting that they feel that teachers are simply less important to the education of the students in our district," Chappa said. "Again, let us reiterate that we do not begrudge those in administration their raises, we just ask that our contract be opened and that we be considered for the same compensation."
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Emily Siegmon can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5687.