BLUE EARTH – The Blue Earth Area School Board and the Blue Earth Area Education Association are heading towards mediation for a new two-year teaching contract.
School board member Sara Hauskins presented a report from the board negotiating committee at the BEA board meeting on Monday evening.
Hauskins detailed the 12 meetings between the bargaining committee and representatives of the teachers’ union.
Those meetings began on May 13, Hauskins said, and the most recent was on October 27.
Over the course of the 12 meetings, the board put forward several proposals for salary and benefit increases, and the Education Association also responded with several of its own proposals.
The board’s highest increase proposal was about 5.2% over two years, while the highest amount opposed by the teachers’ union was a 7.7% increase over two years, their proposal the lowest increase being 6.76%.
However, all of the proposals included different options, some with changes in salary increments, corrections in “Failure” in the current timeline and other things that cause the numbers to change somewhat in each proposal.
“At the end of our October 27 meeting, the EA said it was going to seek mediation,” said Hauskins. “The mediation hearing is unlikely to be heard until December, due to the date the mediator will be available.”
At the start of the meeting, the Board of Directors also heard from BEA EA Co-Chairs Kim Sickler and Barb Carlson talk about the dedication of the current staff and how they chose to be at BEA, returning annually to the experienced staff and looking forward to a fair and fair negotiation.
In other matters during the meeting of Monday, November 8, the BEA Board of Directors:
– I heard an update from staff members Jenn Berkner and Dar Holmseth on marketing Blue Earth Area.
The report included information on the use of the BEA logo on all materials, as well as a competition held to design a new Buccaneer mascot.
The competition is open to everyone and a committee hopes to announce the winning design before Christmas.
– I heard an update from Directors Dave Dressler and Conan Schaffer, as well as Curriculum Director Allison Schmidt, regarding District Vision Cards for District Leadership Teams.
The six visions relate to helping students in a number of ways, including reaching grade level and working to stay on track to graduation.
– Approved staff items, including a contract for David Kittleson as a gifted and talented coordinator, the hiring of Cora Pierson and LaDonna Dutton as temporary part-time COVID nurses, and Robyn Johnson and Andrea Schewe as the paraprofessionals, and Michael Reasor as caretaker.