School board leaves some employees’ pay intact

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Teachers agreed to cut, but have chance to reduce amount

Managing Editor

CANNELTON – Cannelton School Board members declined at a regular meeting Nov. 15 to cut pay for noncertified employees.

Teachers agreed to take a 5-percent pay cut, Schools Superintendent Al Sibbitt said, but most of the district’s noncertified employees are teachers’ aides paid through Title 1 funding, so a similar pay cut wouldn’t save any money.

The remainder include only seven employees, and cutting their pay by 2 percent would net only $3,500, he added.

“That’s not going to make us or break us, plus those people don’t make a lot of money, anyway,” said Sibbitt, who was hired to resolve financial problems the corporation has endured for years. “My recommendation would be that we not reduce the noncertified employees’ salaries.”

If a reduction had been approved, it would have gone into effect Jan. 1. No motion was necessary if the board decided not to make one, Sibbitt said.

“The reason I said 2 percent,” the superintendent continued, is “the teachers took a 5-percent cut, but it was not retroactive to the first of the year, so it ended up being 4.2. Then we have $18,000 to pay those teachers who are evaluated as very effective or effective, so they have a chance to pick up $1,000 to $1,500 … out of Title 2. So the teachers have a chance to basically cut that … 5 percent down to about 2 percent.”

The board took no action.

He also advised its members that “if the school board does not pass a motion by the end of the calendar year not to extend my contract, it will automatically extend one year … which would give me, basically, a three-year rollover contract.”

No one offered a motion.

In other business, board member Jerry Harris suggested the salary for his wife, secretary Lisa Harris, be increased Jan. 1 in exchange for her dropping corporation-provided insurance. The increase would equal 60 percent of the premiums for medical, vision and dental insurance. He can add his wife to coverage provided by his employer, Harris said, and the corporation would save 40 percent of the premium it currently pays.

“It would save the school corporation $2,406 annually,” he said.

The board approved the suggestion with a stipulation added by member Barbara Beard that if the secretary ever re-enrolls in the corporation policies, her salary will be reduced.
They also adopted a motion to allow teachers to donate sick days to a custodian undergoing chemotherapy whose leave balance is low.

“The teachers have a sick-leave bank (and) can do that with their own group,” Sibbitt said, but “there’s nothing that I can find in our policy that would allow teachers to donate days for a (nonteaching staff member) unless the school board would approve it.”

“I think it’s pretty nice of the teachers to do that for a fellow employee,” Harris said before offering a motion to allow it, which received unanimous approval.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Dec. 20. It will start at 6 p.m., 30 minutes early, to allow members to attend a basketball game.