By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Teachers at Chase County Schools (CCS) will have a $350 higher base pay salary for the 2016-17 school year.
Action on the base pay increase, along with slight insurance coverage changes, came after a 30-minute closed session of the school board at their Jan. 12 meeting. The vote was 9-0 to approve the base pay hike.
For the 2016-17 year, certificated teachers at CCS will receive a base pay of $33,850. While the base pay is up just over 1 percent from this year’s base of $33,500, the total benefit package increase is 3.32 percent, said Supt. Joey Lefdal.
The total package includes health/dental insurance and retirement contributions, both which are going up next year.
Teachers will be paying slightly more toward their health/dental insurance deductible in 2016-17, according to the agreement, but the district will continue to pay the full premium for that insurance.
The Blue Cross/Blue Shield deductible in the CCS plan is rising next year from $950 to $1,150.
Currently, the district pays the costs above the employee’s first $500 of the deductible. For families, the costs above $1,000 are paid by the district.
Next year, single employees will pay the first $700 of the deductible, while family policy carriers will pay $1,400 of the deductible.
As in the past, the entire cost of the employee’s premium will be paid by the district in 2016-17, whether they have single or family coverage.
Supt. Lefdal said the plan CCS uses through the Educators Health Alliance is rising 4.9 percent in 2016-17.
CCS offers its full-time employees four health/dental insurance plans. Here are the premium cost comparisons of this year to next school year:
Single employee—$517.93 this year increasing to $542.07
Employee with children—$936.70 this year increasing to $981.36
Employee with spouse—$1,059.83 this year increasing to $1,110.52
Family—$1,414.41 this year increasing to $1,482.48
The board’s and Imperial Education Association’s (IEA) teams for negotiations have been meeting on salaries since late last year.
Members of the board’s negotiations committee include chairman Karl Meeske, Tom Gaschler, Penny Strand and Gregg Smith.
Members of the IEA negotiation team were Jason Speck, Kim Wilson, Arlys Cupp and Janet Sheaffer.
Board elects 2016 officers
Also at last week’s meeting, officers for the school board were elected for the 2016 calendar year.
All board officers remained the same as in 2015 and include Jeff Olsen, president; Gregg Smith, vice president; Tom Gaschler, secretary; and Penny Strand, treasurer.