The West Hancock Community School District School Board approved wage increases for the district's classified and certified staff.

The total cost for the district's classified staff is $94.74 less than this year or a decrease of 1.44 percent.

West Hancock School District Superintendent Wayne Kronemann said this is not because there is less employees but because the fifth through eighth-grade secretary, Peg Eisenman, will be working fewer days in the summer as well as other similar changes in some staff members’ contracts.

“That’s about a $60,000 savings for the district, so that and with the 20 cent raise for the hourly staff, and the other raises [the Board] saw in there, that’s what that comes to,” Kronemann said.

The total cost for the certified staff will be $62,018 or a 1.68 percent increase.

Kronemann said the certified staff was expecting the increase to be $65,000, but he took off $3,000 because after multiple checks he found an insurance item for one staff member that was supposed to be partial but counted as full.

“So it’s going to be a little bit different than what they heard at the final table, I guess, but they’re still getting the same pay raise,” he said.

Board member Jon Harle said staff wanted maximum personal days, so the Board based the contract off “if they only took five or less sick days the previous year, then they would be eligible for a third personal day that year, and it can roll over one day so you can have a max of four days a year that you can take.”

Additionally, the pay scale has changed. Staff used to get a 3.5 percent raise after 12 or 15 years of employment. Now, pay increases are by which degree teachers have obtained. For example, if a teacher has a BA, they get a 0.5 percent pay increase, and if they have an MA they’re getting 2.5 percent pay increase. All this is based on the base pay.

Harle said the board is also increasing the base pay, just for this year.

“This was their idea,” Kronemann said.

Board member Angie Johnson said the negotiating board members, Johnson and Harle, were concerned about attracting new teachers, as this new pay scale makes it harder and takes longer for new teachers to reach the maximum pay, but the staff were aware of the concern and approved the pay scale.

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