A first attempt at an agreement between the McPherson Education Association and USD 418 administration didn't pass, though the McPherson school board went ahead Monday night with a bump in pay for both classified and administrative staff.
The MEA had a vote to ratify an agreement from the district Monday, but Sarah Burke, a teacher at McPherson Middle School and the lead negotiator for the MEA, reported that it failed with 83 percent of teachers voting against it.
The USD 418 Board of Education, meanwhile, gave their OK to a raise for both classified and administrative staff. Business Manager Gordon Mohn explained to the board the need to at least ratify the agreement with the classified staff.
“Right now all of our classified employees are working without a personal employment contract,” Mohn said. “Teachers have a continuing contract, under continuing contract law, until negotiations are settled. So we have a lot of classified people who are returning to work where we've not, other than to say 'if we didn't tell you you didn't have a job, expect to work.' It would really help us if we had some sort of contractual obligation to them.”
The administrative staff will see a two percent bump in their pay for 2015-2016. Classified staff, however, will have a sliding scale to try to shrink the gap between the highest and lowest paid employees.
“Everyone gets at least a 20 cent raise,” Mohn said. “If you're more than 20 cents, then you get a 1.85 percent raise. So, again, the lower paid people would get paid a higher percent of the raise and it helps to keep us from getting too far spread.”
The board approved both measures unanimously.