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Ellsworth School Board handles pay, staff issues

Employee compensation, members’ pay and office staffing at one school were matters for the Ellsworth School Board Monday.

The employee compensation proposal approved by the board included a two percent wage increase for custodians, maintenance, food service, secretarial, bus drivers, central office staff, aides, mechanics and three directors (transportation, computer and food service). Also approved was the addition of a 50-cent-per-hour step at five years of experience and 10 years of experience in the district for aides, as well as a 50-cent-per-hour step at 20 years of experience in the district for secretaries.

Individual contracts for administration and pool/athletic director are to be considered individually by the board, according to the recommendations, all of which came from the personnel committee.

An increase in board members’ pay was also proposed as part of a discussion about the district’s annual meeting, set for Monday, Aug. 26, at 7 p.m. One of the resolutions on the agenda calls for fixing the salaries of the members. Each member presently receives $1,300 annually.

The proposal would increase that amount to $1,800 yearly for each. Superintendent Barry Cain said the last time the pay was changed was in 1997 and referred to a comparison of boards in the area, showing Ellsworth’s board is being paid on the low end. It was mentioned during the discussion past boards here had hesitated to raise the pay because of cuts made to the budget consistently over a number of years.

Attendees at the annual meeting will vote on this pay issue, along with other items.

The Hillcrest Elementary School office will get an additional part-time secretary because of a recommendation approved by the board. The position calls for 3.25 hours of work daily over 186 days in the school year. The post is being added due to the present lone secretary has been determined to be overworked in a school with a student population of 370, Cain said.

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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