ALTAMONT — The Labette County USD 506 Board of Education approved pay increases for classified staff and building administrators Monday during its regular monthly meeting.

Board members Kevin Cole and Jessie Foister met with Assistant Superintendent Tony Blackwell and Superintendent John Wyrick over the course of the past week to discuss a variety of scenarios for classified employees and their rate of pay.

The board approved an on-average hourly increase of 35 cents for classified employees during the 2019-20 and 2018-19 school years. Foister made the motion for the board to approve an on-average hourly increase of 25 cents for classified employees for the 2020-21 school term.

The board learned the 25 cents, on-average, per hour increase for classified employees will add approximately $73,000 to the district’s payroll. The board passed the raise.

The board also approved a recommended increase in pay for bus drivers at $3 per day, bringing starting pay for a bus driver to approximately $63 per day.

Building level administrators also saw an increase in their salaries of 1.27%.

 

Employees, COVID-19

The board approved the memorandum of understanding on how the district will respond to employees who test positive for COVID-19 or are required to quarantine.

Essentially, the district states that due to the extraordinary circumstances related to the pandemic, it is necessary to make allowances to the 2020-21 negotiated agreement. The MOU sets forth changes only to the 2020-21 contract as agreed upon by the Labette County Teachers Association and the district. 

Additional language related to leave involving COVID-19 was added.

The MOU, in part, states:

As a part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act employees are granted the following through Dec. 31, 2020: 

Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay when the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to federal, state or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or 

Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to federal, state or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the secretaries of the Treasury and Labor. 

The MOU also states FFCRA paid sick leave will be prorated based on the employee’s contracted hours of work. 

In addition, the MOU adds any extension of the Family First Coronavirus Response Act or additional federal leave that may be granted into 2021 will be applied. 

 

IN OTHER BUSINESS, the board:

— Voted to opt out of the presidential social security tax deferral.

— Hired Stephanie Bain, Title 1 instructor for USD 506; Tara Dyke, paraprofessional at Meadow View Grade School; Samantha Hope, custodian at Bartlett Grade School; Nora Shelton, assistant volleyball coach at Labette County High School; Nora Shelton, assistant girls track coach at Labette County High School; Denise Spencer, custodian at Labette County High School; and Chelsey Vanatta, bus driver. 

— Accepted the retirement of Bruce Barragar, maintenance worker for USD 506.

— Approved of substitute employees.

— Approved junior high supplementals.

— Approved the transfer of Autem Reed, paraprofessional at Meadow View to cook at Meadow View.

— Accepted the resignations of Carol Bynum, cook at Meadow View Grade School; Mike Rankins, maintenance worker at USD 506; and Mary Rodie, custodian at Bartlett Grade School.

The next regular meeting of the board will be Oct. 12 at Edna Grade School.

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