(Beaver Dam) The union that represents teachers in Beaver Dam is asking the school board to implement wage increases outlined in the employee handbook. Beaver Dam Education Association President Betsy Ramsdale presented the board with a petition with the names of over 170 certified staff members at Monday night’s meeting. The petition asks the board to approve step increases for the current and upcoming school years. District staff received a cost-of-living increase this year but the step increases are different; steps are additional compensation that rewards both the number of years in education and the number of years in the district.
“The petition that we are presenting to you tonight indicates the problem with the current situation,” Ramsdale says, “Specifically that what is written on paper has not taken place regarding annual experience steps. The current handbook indicates that ‘steps will take place unless an individual teacher has identified performance deficiencies.’ In fact, no teacher received a step increase for the 2019-2020 school year.”
The petition was presented during the public comment portion of Monday night’s meeting and the board and administration did not respond but did release statements to DailyDodge.com that can be read below. The union is asking the board to vote on the step increase at their meeting next month.
School Board President Bev Beal-Loeck:
“We have an approved budget in place that leaves us with very little available to add into additional compensation. This information was presented to us at tonight’s meeting and will need to be discussed by the full board. We value our staff greatly and as a board are committed to providing competitive wages and benefit packages. We have board members actively participating on the compensation team along with staff and administration.”
Superintendent Mark DiStefano:
“To me, this only furthers the opportunity for us to continue to look at ways to improve how and what we do for our staff. I believe that our district remains committed to compensating our staff very competitively. The tradition of providing the maximum CPI increases allowable, steps provided last year and insurance premium share reductions this year have all contributed to positive increases in the take home dollar amount for staff. That being said, we have a team of people comprised of staff, administrators and board members reviewing our compensation reality this year. I commend our staff for advocating for themselves and their families in a healthy and professional manner. They have been heard and they are deeply valued.”