District gives employees raise
Raises stem from external cost adjustment
The 2015-2016 agreement between Sweetwater County School District No. 2 and the Green River Education Association results in higher wages for teachers and other employees within the district.
The agreement was approved by the school board last night and represents increases stemming from the Wyoming Legislature’s approval of an external cost adjustment for school district earlier this year. John Malone, one of the school board members, credited the GREA, as well as the Wyoming Education Association and other teacher-focused groups lobbying the legislature for the cost adjustment.
“It would have never happened if the legislature thought they’d have more trouble not doing it than doing it,” Malone said.
Board chairman Steve Core said the increases in the agreement create a $662,000 package for district employees, an amount placing the district within the top five districts within Wyoming.
“I think it’s a good package,” Core said.
The agreement creates a new base salary for the district’s certified staff at $7,205, representing an increase of $600. A $712 vertical step in all certified employees’ wages was granted for all employees, while a $1,017 horizontal movement was granted for all eligible employees. Support staff received a total increase of 37 cents per hour as well.
For health and dental insurance, the district will pay the additional employee contribution amount for one year, resulting in the district paying 88 percent of the insurance premiums for full-time employees while part-time employees will adjust to 77 percent paid by the district for the next year.
The cost adjustment made by the legislature will result in approximately $1 million in additional funds going to the school district. Members of the GREA met last November to discuss plans to lobby the legislature for a cost adjustment. The school district itself joined a coalition of districts from across the state in lobbying for the adjustment. The district’s membership resulted in $50,000 needing to be added to its legal budget, which the district approved last night as well.
The last external cost adjustment districts received occurred during the 2010-2011 fiscal year.