www.herald-journal.com
DC teachers, board settle at 6.5 percent over two years

January 14, 2008

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Dassel-Cokato teacher negotiations came to a head, with both parties satisfied over a 6.5 percent increase for the next two years.

The contract will increase teachers’ salaries 3 percent the first year (2007-08), and 3.5 percent the second year (2008-09), with no increase in health insurance. The average teacher’s salary including the new contract, is $47,743 at DC. See other area contract comparisons.

The two committees came to an agreement shortly before winter break.

Mark Dolan, the chief negotiator for the DC Education Association, said Wednesday he is satisfied the contract is about average with similar-size districts in out-state Minnesota.

Two years ago, the teachers association settled on a 2 percent increase for two years due to the financial situation of the district, Dolan said.

To make a fair comparison, the committee looked at districts of similar size with a similar number of teachers.

“The Wright County Conference is a good comparison,” Dolan said.

They looked at past contracts as well as the contracts coming in to the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA).

As of Wednesday, settlements in the Wright County Conference included Annandale at 7.05 percent, Glencoe-Silver Lake at 7.57 percent, Watertown-Mayer at 7.27 percent, and Orono at 7.34 percent, according to MSBA data.

Dahlman informed the board and the public this contract settlement would not impact the initial proposal (how they would spend the levy dollars) given prior to the levy vote.

In other words, this will not impact levy money at this time, Dahlman said.

In other business

This was the board’s re-organizational meeting and all board member rolls stayed the same – Kevin Dahlman as chair, Cary Linder as vice chair, Richard Tormanen as clerk, and Brian Danielson as treasurer.

The regular and special meeting dates remain the same with the regular meetings scheduled for the fourth Thursday of every month and the special meetings on the second Monday of every month; both at 7 p.m. at the board room in the district office (the entrance is facing the same side as the Community Education office).

The board kept the current rate of $50 per meeting and $100 for an all-day meeting.

All board representatives for the individual committees or organizations remained the same with the permanent addition of a second board member to serve on the technology committee. Kevin Bjork will be added to this committee.

The board plans to meet for a strategic planning retreat Saturday, Jan. 26. The site is yet to be determined.

Linder informed the board there is a tentative settlement agreement with custodians, which will be on the agenda for the February regular board meeting.