School board tentatively approves salaries

Tentative salary settlement for school district employees in several departments, clarification of contract language, and purchases of Dell Chromebooks were several key actions taken by the Marshalltown Community School District board at a regular meeting Monday night.

Salaries and language

Attorney John Veldey of Cartwright, Druker and Ryden, who represented the district in contract negotiations, reported in tandem with district Human Resources Director Lisa Koester.

The salary agreements were spelled out in a Memo of Settlement for teachers 2016-17, and are tentative, Veldey said.

The Marshalltown Education Association, the bargaining unit for the district’s educators, must approve the Memo of Settlement for the contract terms to be binding.

Central to Veldey’s report was base salary for teachers would increase $600 to $32,690.

The total package, including insurance adjustments is a 3.4 percent increase.

Koester took over from Veldey and reported Building & Grounds, Food Service, Transportation, and Paraeducators would receive salary and miscellaneous benefit adjustments ranging from 2.96 to 3.13 percent.

Adjustments of percentages were impacted by specific department issues and the fact Transportation and Paraeducators are represented in negotiations with the district by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The union also covers those district employees with Teamster insurance.

Veldey and Koester also reviewed work on clarifying contract language with the departments.

The board approved Veldey and Koester’s various salary settlement reports 6-0, with board member Ben Stansberry abstaining. Stansberry’s spouse is employed by the district.

Dell Chromebook purchase

Director of Information Technology Jeff Weinberg and Instructional Design Specialist David Stanfield recommend the board approve a bid of $$253,965 from a New Hampshire company to supply 1,235 Dell Chromebooks to be distributed between Miller Middle and Marshalltown High School students.

Weinberg and Stanfield reported on the district’s history and current uses of Chromebooks.

Old ones will be recycled at no charge, Weinberg said.

The board approved the bid 7-0.

Personnel announcements

Previously, Koester reported Weinberg had resigned to accept a position with Heartland Area Education Agency in Des Moines.

“We accept Jeff’s resignation with regret,” Koester said. “He brought the district into the data age.”

In other personnel action, Bret Purvis has been hired as district Buildings and Grounds director. He comes to MCSD from Marshalltown Community College, where he was Managing Director of Buildings and Grounds.

Internal borrowing

Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz reported on the need to borrow up to $1 million for the SAVE/SILO fund from the general fund to cover construction overages and completion of construction projects.

The money is expected to be paid back by June 30, 2017.

Bartz specifically identified the Roundhouse remodeling initiative as one of the projects.

After more details from Bartz and answering questions, board member Mike MIller asked Bartz what lesson could be learned from the need to borrow internally.

“The lesson to be learned is this,” Bartz said. “Don’t approve projects until you have the cash.”

A motion to proceed with the loan passed 7-0.

Later, the board adjourned for a short break before entering into closed session to discuss strategy with counsel in matters where litigation is imminent, and where its disclosure would be likely to prejudice or disadvantage the district in that litigation.

Chairwoman Niblock reminded the board, staff and attendees only one July board meeting would be held.

Consequently, it will be 5 p.m. July 18 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. For more information, contact 641-754-1000.

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Contact Mike Donahey at (641) 753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com