District waits for insurance cost decision
The Storm Lake Community School District Thursday made a counter-offer of 1.86 percent in additional funds to "age the salary schedule" to its teachers.
The Education Association Jan. 12 had asked a 6 percent increase, or an additional cost of $465,900. The district's offer falls $321,941 short of that request.
The proposed $143,959 increase would pay for both salary step and benefits increases. Step increases would total $94,129 while the remaining $49,830 would cover IPERS, FICA, and long-term disability costs.
"The Storm Lake Community School District will be willing to discuss with the Education Association a potential shift in employee health and major medical insurance costs and coverage that may result in a savings to the district and a potential increase of available refunds to the teachers for salary increases," the offer stated. "With the new money for the Storm Lake Community School District calculated at $92,658, it would be advantageous to both the Storm Lake Education Association and the Storm Lake Community School District to find ways to reduce costs to prevent the consideration of elimination of programs and/or staff."
Superintendent Bill Kruse said the district will not know until April at the earliest what its increase will be in its employee insurance premiums.
Kruse said the offer covers raises of certified staff moving to the next level. He said some staff are already at the top of their salary schedule "under this initial proposal." The district also pays 100 percent of the cost of employee insurance.
"This is the initial offer," Kruse said. "We will not know what our settlement is until we know what our insurance is going to be and that's in April."
Kruse said future negotiation will be closed to the public.