Manistique school board ratifies district contracts

MANISTIQUE – The Manistique Area Schools Board of Education ratified all district contracts during a special meeting Monday night.

The contracts apply to employees who are members of the Michigan Education Association and the Michigan Educational Support Professional Association, administration, supervisors, non-union staff, and the superintendent.

The settlement is for one-year contracts including a 1.5 percent increase on wages, step schedule, 80/20 health insurance, and 100 percent district-paid vision and dental insurance.

Because teacher wages in the district are based on years of service, the 1.50 percent increase will be applied to each “step” in the wage system. For example, a teacher who has worked for the district for four years receives different wages than one who has worked one year, but both one-year and four-year teachers will receive a 1.5 percent wage increase in the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

MESPA employees also will receive a 1.5 percent increase on their wage schedule, however MESPA steps are organized by job type, separating aides, cooks, bus divers, custodians, and other support staff.

Only three non-union personnel work in the district: two secretaries to the principals and one business office staff person.

The board was committed to awarding the raises after four years of wage freezes in the district.

“Board members specifically commended the efforts of all employees to ensure the children of our district continued to receive the best even in the face of state uncertainty,” said District Superintendent Kathy McDonough.

The General Fund budget passed on June 24, and the district anticipates a year-end balance of $323,849 for 2013-14, despite the district expecting deficit spending for the year.

McDonough noted the board is committed to maintaining a fund equity minimum of $300,000.