Raises approved for employees

The Leavenworth Board of Education will have the same leadership going into the new school year.

During an annual reorganization of the board, Mike Carney was chosen Wednesday to serve as president for another year. Doug Darling was re-elected to the position of vice president of the board.

Board members also voted Wednesday to approve an agreement that had been negotiated with the local teacher’s union.

The agreement will result in pay raises of at least $1,300 per teacher for the 2017-2018 school year, according to Kevin Gullett, chief financial officer for the school district.

Board members also voted to set aside money to give pay raises to classified employees and administrators.

Carney, who is finishing up his first year as president, told his fellow board members that he would like to continue serving in that position.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here on the board as the president,” he said.

But he said it is important for all board members to be involved. For example, he said, board members can serve on ad hoc committees.

“It's time for people to get involved if you're going to be an active board member,” he said.

Board member Nancy Klemp, who previously served as president, nominated Carney for another term as president.

“I think you've done a very good job,” she said.

Board member Loyal Torkelson seconded the nomination.

The nomination was approved with a vote of 5-1. Board member Jose Morales voted against the nomination. Board member Verna Raines was absent.

Carney later thanked his fellow board members for having confidence in him.

When it came time to nominate a board member for vice president, Klemp asked if anyone wanted the job. No one answered.

Board member John Goodman nominated Darling for the position. Darling has served in that capacity for the last year.

The nomination was seconded by Torkelson.

The nomination was approved by a vote of 6-0.

Board members voted 6-0 to approve the negotiated agreement for the 2017-2018 school year.

The vote came after board members met behind closed doors in executive session for 16 minutes to discuss negotiations.

Gullett said the minimum pay raise for teachers will be $1,300, but most teachers will receive an $1,800 salary increase. Some teachers may see an even larger pay raise.

Gullett said the school district's health insurance rates should remain flat for the coming school year. And as part of the negotiated agreement, the district will increase the amount it contributes to teachers' health insurance by $25 per month for each teacher.

The board voted 6-0 to set aside up to $325,000 as a pool of money for salary increases for classified employees. The district's classified staff includes positions such as secretaries and custodians.

Board members also voted to set aside $38,001 as a pool for raises for administrators. The vote was 5-1 with Torkelson voting against it.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR