Linn R-2 teachers and event workers get a raise

By Neal A. Johnson, UD Editor
Posted 9/28/22

Linn R-2 board members at their Sept. 20 meeting agreed to a salary increase for teachers and event workers.

Superintendent Bob James told the board that teachers need to be paid more for covering …

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Linn R-2 teachers and event workers get a raise

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Linn R-2 board members at their Sept. 20 meeting agreed to a salary increase for teachers and event workers.

Superintendent Bob James told the board that teachers need to be paid more for covering classes during their plan period.

“Currently, if we have an absence not covered by a substitute, we ask our teachers to cover class periods, and we pay them $12 for the period,” said James. “Number one, I’d like our teachers to want to cover that because they are the best people to have in the classroom. It’s pretty difficult. Our teachers do a good job, but I’d recommend raising the pay from $12 to $20 for covering class periods.”

James noted that it is common among other schools in the area which are paying at least $20 per period. He added that the minimum wage will go up to $12 soon.

“If we ask teachers to give up some very valuable time to plan, call parents, and sometimes just to decompress, I think it’s probably worth more than minimum wage,” James said. “Not that we look to lean on them, but when they do it, we’d like to compensate our teachers.”

“Presumably, they’re going to have to make that time up later, and they won’t be compensated,” said Board President Dr. Shawn Strong.

“Correct,” James replied.

Board member Brett Phillips said he was 100% in favor of the raise. “Speaking from experience, it’s really a humungous inconvenience to burn that plan period,” he added. “It’s a big deal to cover for somebody, and I think we need to pay them more.”

High School Principal Erin Sassmann praised teachers for their willingness to help. “Any time we’ve asked them to cover, it’s always, ‘not a problem, where do you need me?’” she said.

James said he had not run the numbers to determine the fiscal impact on the district. “I know that with several other things we’ll save money on, we should be more than able to absorb that cost,” he added.

None of the board members had an issue or concern with the plan, and board member Mark Baker said this move is a good morale booster for teachers.

In related news, the board approved an increase in pay for event workers.

James noted that event workers are paid $12 but questioned whether they should be paid an hourly rate or a flat rate for the entire event.

He explained that event workers are non-salaried employees.

“We pay them 12 bucks to give away a football evening, which starts pretty much right after school because they don’t go home,” said James, recommending the district pay $15 per hour. “That’s actually less than what I’ve seen.”

He noted that most schools pay event workers $20 per hour.

“You get there 30 minutes early, set out tables and cash boxes,” James explained. “In the third quarter, you stop taking cash, you reconcile the cash box with the administrator on duty and you exit.”

James said he wants students to enjoy everything at all events, not just football. “We want to provide a fun environment, which means it’s well planned and staffed,” he added. “I want that for our students, visitors, players, everyone.”

The superintendent noted gate workers have been paid out of the nightly receipts. “It doesn’t really impact our bottom line from a budget standpoint, but as we become better event-holders and our patronage increases, it’s going to increase the demand we have to provide a great environment,” James said.

Discussion items and reports will be presented next week.

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