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ELC approves tentative agreement with ELCEA

By Staff | May 11, 2010

With impending layoffs still on the line, the Estherville Lincoln Central Community School District Board of Education Monday night inked a tentative agreement with the Estherville Lincoln Central Education Association.

The agreement calls for a 3.5 percent total package settlement at a cost of $244,981. That assumes a 5 percent increase for health and major medical.

The agreement sets the teacher base salary at $28,730 and puts the salary schedule at 4 percent increments, both horizontally and vertically, and puts Teacher Salary Supplement money into the schedule.

The board approved the agreement, with board member Don Schiltz voting against approval.

“It’s going to cost us $250,000,” Schiltz said after the meeting. “They’re not thinking of the young teachers – the career teachers they’re (beginning teachers) the ones that are going to lose out.”

“I think it was a very fair agreement,” said Lili Jensen of the ELCEA. “We appreciate the cooperation of the district and I think we’re going to be very pleased.”

Dick Magnuson, ELC superintendent, said the district will get $275,000 in new money next year which should cover the agreement, even with higher initial insurance premiums.

Magnuson said the association had already ratified the agreement which adds $150 to the base salary. While the insurance increase is likely to be closer to 7 percent, he was more concerned about what changes could come this fall with federal health-care legislation. “Our rates could go up drastically in October,” Magnuson said.

The board tabled the terminations of middle-school vocal music teacher Kim Godtland and high-school nurse Sandy Fandel as part of the district’s reduction in force to meet its budget.

Magnuson said both employees had requested a continuance.

In other business, the board held a public hearing for a budget amendment for construction costs related to the middle-school building project and snow damage. The amendment changes the estimated cost for other costs from $2,755,624 to $3,055,624.

Magnuson said the amendment will not raise taxes.

In observance of National School Board Recognition Week, Magnuson thanked board members for their contributions to the district.

The board heard a report from FFA teacher Jenny Lichty and her students on the state convention.

Magnuson said the district has applied to FEMA for money to cover snow removal costs plus costs for fixing the roof of the ICN room not covered by insurance.

In the administrative reports, Kris Schlievert, elementary principal, said the Parent Action Team is putting $35,000 toward playground equipment on the west side of Demoney.

Mike Peterson, middle-school principal, said the Second Chance reading program will continue next year. Peterson also recapped the D.A.R.E. graduation for fifth-graders. He also recognized Rebecca Lair who is taking her documentary on polio to national competition.

Frank Christenson, high-school principal, discussed recent spring concerts and the high-school art exhibit at Little Swan Lake Winery.

Christenson also noted a list of potential graduates, progress with the alternative school, fine arts awards 7 p.m. May 18 and senior awards 10 a.m. May 19.

Brian DeJong, activities director, also discussed a recent activities survey.