Board, union may have a deal - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Board, union may have a deal

School district employees stand to get pay increase

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Posted: Friday, November 22, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 1:13 am, Fri Nov 22, 2013.

COEUR d'ALENE - Coeur d'Alene School District employees are in line for a merry Christmas.

And a little more along the way, too.

After two hours of back-and-forth negotiations Thursday - at issue is the distribution of surplus school district funds - the school board and Coeur d'Alene Education Association tentatively agreed on the following:

* A 2 percent increase to the base salary of certificated district employees.

* Giving a "step," or a scheduled pay increase based on duration of employment, back to employees who did not receive one in previous school years.

* A one-time payment of approximately $325 for all benefited employees.

The CEA, otherwise known as the teachers' union, was voting on the proposal Thursday night. The school board was scheduled to vote this morning. The Press will post a story on the outcome of those votes today on

The special negotiation came from what one negotiator called "a pleasant problem" - an excess fund balance that exceeded estimates. Initial projections led to a memorandum of understanding that stated any funds beyond the $737,000 excess already distributed would be given as a one-time payment to benefited employees.

Both sides agreed to meet one time to discuss alternatives to the initial MOU, with the stipulation that if no agreement was reached by 6 p.m., the initial agreement of a one-time payment of approximately $1,500 would be enacted.

According to CEA chief negotiator Tim Sanford, their opening proposal met the "intent" of the initial MOU, which was to increase salaries across the board. That proposal came in two parts and asked for a base salary increase of $450 for classified, certified and administrative employees and the recovery of a lost step that had occurred.

"Our primary focus is on fairness. The intent is to take what was agreed to and distribute that money equally in terms of real dollars," said Derek Kohles, president of the CEA. "The reason for that is that as we cut insurance and other things - cuts have happened to all staff in terms of dollars."

After the CEA negotiators gave their initial proposal, the board negotiators met privately to discuss their counter-proposal.

Chief board negotiator Kelly Ostrom and the rest of her team returned with a counter-proposal for the CEA team, stating that while the CEA focused on "fair," hers focused on "equal."

The board's proposal would give a 2 percent increase to the base salaries of certificated employees, give back a step, and give a one-time payment of $396.

"In our proposal people end up with a nice increase and it's an ongoing increase," Ostrom said.

Sanford and his team took exception with the proposal, stating that it took funds from the lowest-paid employees and gave it to the highest.

"We don't call that equal," Sanford said. "We are talking about a unique situation. We are talking about money that is already ready, according to contract, to be delivered out equally."

The two parties continued deliberations, both in public and private, prior to the CEA hesitantly accepting the board team's revision of their initial proposal.

"Our team is having a lot of trouble with this proposal," Kohles said. "But when it comes down to it, we do have to accept."

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  • bruce wayne posted at 7:44 am on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    bruce wayne Posts: 120

    Mr. Hamilton. Were you in favor of this pay raise? I know your friends Mrs. Souza and Brent Regan were not.

  • bruce wayne posted at 7:41 am on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    bruce wayne Posts: 120

    And yes....Cda public schools are top in state in math, reading and language arts. To southern Idahos credit.... we do not have the migrant population they do. They do have the lack of funding we do and a state superintendent who is a tea partyer, got his degree online with no prior educational experience, and inept at running an educational system for a state.But then people like you... teacher/ public ed bash.People are seeing thru this...the tide is changing and it has nothing to do with republican or democrat. It has to do with what is right.

  • greyhound2 posted at 11:48 am on Sat, Nov 23, 2013.

    greyhound2 Posts: 746

    Fralphgob: Only goes to prove the old saying that "Figures can lie and Liars can figure". Ever hear of the old "50/20"?

  • Screen Name posted at 7:39 am on Sat, Nov 23, 2013.

    Screen Name Posts: 756

    OK, greyhound2 you don't like the status quo? Tell me your solution. I predict that you will remain silent. It is easy to criticize, it is difficult to formulate an alternative.

    “He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.”
    ― Abraham Lincoln

    What have you done to help the local education system greyhound2? I suspect nothing.

  • Fralphgob posted at 5:31 am on Sat, Nov 23, 2013.

    Fralphgob Posts: 54

    Greyhound. I have tried to stay out of this but when something is said that is so completely false I feel compelled. Idaho spends $6500 per student and the majority of that come from sales tax not property taxes. The drop out rate in Idaho is just over 20%, not 30% and in Coeur d'Alene it is less than 10%. Finally, in Idaho we have NEVER thrown money at education...EVER. The teachers in this state, and in particular, Coeur d'Alene do a great job and deserve our support and respect. A 2% raise after 5 years of no pay raises and diminishing benefits is hardly throwing money at "it".

  • hayden_guy posted at 7:58 pm on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    hayden_guy Posts: 399

    30% might be the numbers nationally, but NOT in CDA.

    ($12,000 for education vs. how much per year for prison?)

  • greyhound2 posted at 7:50 pm on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    greyhound2 Posts: 746

    Educating the next generation is a major priority. There is a smart way and a dumb way.

    The education system is paid for by county property owners at a cost of about $12,000 per year per student per chair. So what do you get for your money? Currently, the drop out rate is about 30% from high school and one of ten actually graduate from college. Some of the problems are with the schools and some are with the home. Status quo is not a solution and throwing more money at it won't help either.

  • oscar posted at 5:50 pm on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    oscar Posts: 1031

    And your point is what. Stay on topic please, this has nothing to do with CDA no matter how you try to spin it.

  • hayden_guy posted at 1:19 pm on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    hayden_guy Posts: 399

    IdahoMother- also if you note in the article, the Union tried to get equal dollars to all the employees of the district.

    The district side pushed for and held strong to- equal percentages on the base- giving the administrators the most $$, then certified, and then the lowest dollar amount to classified.

    There is no doubt that the classified employees are hard workers and without them the district could not function.

  • benfranklin posted at 11:32 am on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    benfranklin Posts: 41

    Hey max"tard", nice job taking the opinion of one person in a city 300+ miles away and somehow applying it to this thread. In other unrelated news the forecast calls for sunshine today.

  • max power posted at 10:23 am on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    max power Posts: 559

    *** It Could Be Worse - A Whole Lot Worse ***

    A Peanut butter & jelly sandwich is racist says liberal Portland School Principal. Yes, did you know that eating or even talking about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich could be considered racist?
    Well it is!

    Apparently it's because people in some cultures don't eat sandwich bread. Verenice Gutierrez, Principal at Harvey Scott K-8 School in Portland explained in a recent interview with the Portland Tribune.

    During this interview the principal noted that the school year started with intensive staff training, frequent staff meetings, classroom observations, data team mining and other initiatives to help educators understand their " WHITE PRIVILEDGE" in order to change their teaching practices in an effort to boost minority students performance.

    "Hey Libtards, is white bread more racist than say whole wheat bread?" - Jack Hammer

  • TomHamilton posted at 9:29 am on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    TomHamilton Posts: 56

    We met this morning and the pay raise will be applied to classified and administration as is Board policy and practice.

  • hayden_guy posted at 9:04 am on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    hayden_guy Posts: 399

    The union can not negotiate for classified.

    District practice is to give all the same percentage raise, but this is decided by the district and only the district.

    Expect to see the same 2% raise to classified and administration.

  • IdahoMother posted at 8:47 am on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    IdahoMother Posts: 4

    Gee, nice of the district, board and union to "look after" the certified but what about raises for the classified employees. They are the lowest paid and sometimes work the hardest!

  • SamuelStanding posted at 8:24 am on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    SamuelStanding Posts: 481

    271 taxpayers should RETHINK supporting supplemental bonds. This is a HUGE dollar amount while Idaho/Nation is still recovering.

    There does not seem to be any conscious with these folks! I hear you about losing a "Step", paying more out of pocket, but who ISN'T these days? You have health care coverage while others are forced to figure out how to get with the national plan.

    I find this disappointing and cannot support district 271 any longer with their panic, requests to FIX STRUCTURES, etc.

  • oscar posted at 7:32 am on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    oscar Posts: 1031

    Negotiations are a fair way to determine wages and benefits and it sounds like the Board and teachers felt this was appropriate use of the money. I am happy we have a Board that recognizes all of the effort teachers put into educating our children. Maybe CDA will finally buck the hostile trend of the last Board and the backward educational philosophy of our Legislators and continue to support education in all ways so the future of our youth willing to work get the best education they deserve.

  • bruce wayne posted at 6:17 am on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    bruce wayne Posts: 120

    The opponents of this darn money bein given ta teachers are right dag nab it.

    Dem teachers have had their insurance raised quite a bit...good!

    Dey haven't had raises fir 5 years even if they took alot o amount of classes. Good!

    All they do ia babysit. Heck, I don't even do a thing with my kids and they turned out alright.

    I don't care bout edumacation. They should be paid less and I should pay less taxes. Still mad Brent Regan and Souza lost!

  • today posted at 5:40 am on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    today Posts: 43

    There are needs in the school district which aren't being met, such as updated curriculum materials. These extra funds should be spent on those needs or returned to us who pay for education in this community.

  • RUtaxedenough posted at 2:37 am on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    RUtaxedenough Posts: 100

    I never heard of "profit sharing" in the public sector. No wonder they like these supplemental bonds. A few million more each year and they can really have a great Christmas. Now I will quite being sarcastic and wish the teachers well, but next time negotiate the salary up front and if there is a surplus then send it back to the taxpayers.

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