Brownstown Central raises approved

BROWNSTOWN

Brownstown Central Community School Corp. teachers and classified and administrative personnel received a 3-percent salary increase for 2015-16 and a 2½ percent increase for 2016-17.

The nearly 220 people also received an increase in insurance contributions made by the corporation from $5,500 on a single plan to $6,000 for 2015-16 and $6,200 for the following school year, while the family plan went from $7,000 to $7,750 this school year and $8,000 for 2016-17.

This marks the highest pay raise for teachers and staff in the past five years. Twice during that time, no pay raises were given. The other years resulted in raises ranging from 1 to 1½ percent.

“Due to budget cuts and sound fiscal management decisions made by this board, increased enrollment and the new budget formula, I am pleased to announce that the negotiation teams have reached a tentative agreement on a two-year contract that rewards our teachers for the hard work that they do every day in educating our children,” Superintendent Greg Walker said during Tuesday’s special school board meeting.

“Very happy with that,” Dan Schwartz, president of the Brownstown Central Classroom Teachers Association, said after the meeting.

“This team did an excellent job getting as much as we could get,” he said. “The total package, I’m very satisfied, especially the hours these guys had to put in because for every hour that they spend at the table there, there’s probably eight to 10 hours of research and work done to put together.”

The association’s team began meeting in the middle of August and later met with school board representatives.

“It can be complex if there are issues,” he said. “But when you have two teams like our team and the administrative team that both had a common goal, worked hard together, they were professional, cordial, everybody knew where we wanted to be, then it becomes a little bit easier of a process. There are still numbers to crunch and everything, but it’s not quite as tough of a process.”

Along with increases in salary and insurance for those evaluated as effective or highly effective, teachers’ professional development stipend also increased. That went from $500 to $750 for teachers who successfully complete three hours of graduate studies with a maximum benefit of $750 per year.

The contract also establishes a salary schedule for newly hired teachers and procedures for filling hard-to-fill positions.

With classified personnel, the corporation treasurer’s salary will go from $43,000 for 2015-16 to $45,000 for 2016-17; the information systems administrator’s salary goes from $42,500 to $44,500; and the network systems manager’s pay goes from $40,000 to $42,000.

The latter two positions come out of the capital projects fund, so that doesn’t affect the general fund, Walker said.

“We’ve done lots of research with local school corporations, and this brings our folks’ salaries up to par with surrounding school corporations,” he said. “They were a little underpaid, so we’re kind of bringing those up and trying to do it over a two-year period instead of all at once.”

On another note, Walker announced high school guidance counselor Derrick Koch as the corporation’s testing coordinator and elementary school counselor Jill Miller as the assistant testing coordinator. Trustees approved adding nine days to Koch’s contract and four days to Miller’s contract.

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.