Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Joplin R-8 Board approves salary schedule on 4-3 vote

By a 4-3 margin, the Joplin R-8 Board of Education approved a salary schedule Tuesday night that provides a $1,000 pay increase, plus one step for teachers.

The amount of money was less than teachers hoped to receive, but thanks to collective bargaining, it is the first time they have not had to rely on sympathetic board members to rescue them from administration budget plans that always seemed to call for no pay increase.

This year, Joplin National Education Association (JNEA) negotiators and district officials worked out an agreement, but not all board members were satisfied with the amount of money provided to teachers.

Jennifer Martucci cast the only vote against the agreement for that reason, while Martucci, Lori Musser, and Derek Gander voted against accepting the salary schedule. Those voting for it were Board President Jeff Koch, Sharrock Dermott, Deborah Gould, and Brian Jordan.

The new salary schedule pays a beginning teacher with a bachelor's degree $35,822. The top paying school district in the area, Webb City, currently pays $37,370 and is likely to increase that amount for the 2016-2017 school year.

The salary schedule also offers little encouragement for veteran teachers to apply for positions in Joplin, since it continues to limit those teachers to only count 10 years of their experience. Pay amounts for Joplin veteran teachers are also lagging behind amounts paid to teachers in other area school districts.

The agreement did provide some victories for teachers:

-Teachers have to be provided lunch time without being required to perform duties during that time.

-Teachers have to be consulted if an administrator decides to change a student's grade and the responsibility for that grade lies with the administrator.

-Teachers who have to give up their plan period to take over a class will be paid $21.50.

-Mileage reimbursement will be paid monthly.

It remains to be seen if the collective bargaining rights, the new administration, and changes that were made by the Board of Education and Interim Superintendent Norm Ridder will stem the departure of teachers from the district.

At this point, the numbers appear to be down from previous years, but tenured teachers have until June 1 to make a decision on whether they will return.

The board also ratified its first-ever agreement with the Joplin Education Support Professionals. Pay increases are noted in the chart above.


Concerned citizen said...

What in the world is an administrator doing changing a grade???

Anonymous said...

Anyone remember what Derek Gander said when he ran for school board?
He was going to get teachers more pay
He was going to "find" some money to give them....

Not even 2%....

He's got 3 more years on this board .... big thumbs down

Anonymous said...

4:45PM Did you read the article? Gander voted against the proposal. Sounds like you just don't like him.

Unknown said...

My question also.

Unknown said...

My question also.