KEOSAUQUA — Noncertified staff at Van Buren Community School will receive a 3.9 percent wage increase.
In a 3-2 decision, the board was informed the wage increase will cost the district about $51,000. Voting for the increase were board members Rick Plowman, Sheila Parsons and Bob Steingreaber. Voting against the measure were board members Kara McEntee and Andrew Lydolph.
McEntee said she questioned tying the raise of noncertified to that of the certified staff. She thinks the district should incorporate a performance-based plan to salary increases. She said by linking the raise of the noncertified to the certified gives those employees defacto union representation.
“I think we need to look at the budget, since it will cost $51,000.” She said the Van Buren County Hospital ties salary increases to performances on the job and that this year, employees will receive up to 1 percent increase in wages based on their evaluations. She also wants the district to consider the employee market when determining compensation.
Steingreaber said, “Most schools give certified and noncertified employees the same percentage raise.”
Lydolph asked if “people in private industries are getting cost-of-living raises.”
Parsons said a few years ago, the board did research the market and found that the district pay was below the market for some jobs. Superintendent Pam Ewell stated that there was a limited number of applicants for the cook’s job, which does indicate how the district’s pay was compared to other jobs in the county.