Teacher Contract Renewal Comes With A Raise

The Grand Island Public School Board recently approved a contract with the GI Education Association that will give teachers a total package increase of 3.09-percent for the 2013-14 school year.

"I think as the teachers head into their summer break from teaching its always nice for them to know the settlement has been reached and what to plan for and expect for the coming year," said GIPS Personnel Director Wayne Stelk.

District officials say they are in new waters because the district has never had to settle teacher contracts before they received notice of what state aid would be for the next year.

Contracts are due February 8th, but state aid is not scheduled to school districts until March 1st.

"That's kind of scary committing to that. We are locked and loaded as far as the expense we are committed to that," said the District's Business Manager Virgil Harden.

The teacher raise equates to a $1.6-million increase to the district.

"Assuming all things are the same which is an over simplification," said Harden.

Harden says that's because teachers leave or retire.
Another first time challenge, changes in healthcare soon to be put in place by the affordable care act.

"We're really trying to get as many people that work for the district full time that are teaching staff, receiving the benefit of an employee only health and dental plan paid for by the district. That is one of the major changes in the plan that affects the finances," said Harden.

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