Fayette non-union employees get a raise 7.29.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette’s non-union employees will receive a pay raise for the next school year—superintendent Russ Griggs made sure of that.

The board of education voted 4-1 to approve the increase at the July 20 meeting. Deb Leininger cast the “no” vote, saying later that the workers are certainly deserving of a pay increase, but she thinks the decision should have been delayed a few months to see how the district’s financial condition evolves.

Pay increases will range from 2.5 to 3.0 percent and cost the district $10,042. That money will not reduce the general fund, however.

Grant money from Title I funding will cover $3,202 and the remainder of the increase will be offset by a reduction in Griggs’s salary and the resulting drop in retirement benefits.

“The net effect is no increase in general fund expenditures,” Griggs said. “The general fund actually comes out to the better.”

Non-union employees do not negotiate wages with the board, Griggs said, as the employees under union contract do.

“To treat this small group of individuals different from the bargaining unit members is unfair,” he said.

Griggs put pressure on the board to approve the wage increase, suggesting that he would leave the district if they weren’t in favor.

Griggs now works on a part-time basis and with his reduced schedule, the district will spend about $76,000 less annually than the last time they had a full-time school chief. In addition to the salary cuts, he doesn’t bill the district for meals and transportation costs when he’s on school business.

Although he’s not in his office on a full-time basis, Griggs remains in contact with school officials via cell phone and e-mail.

His salary cut that’s helping fund the non-union pay increase will take a few more days off his scheduled time in school.

FINANCES—Griggs showed board members a chart of revenue and expenditure comparisons, leading him to conclude that finances are not as bad as projected last year. Revenue is down, he noted, but so are expenditures.

Griggs made comparisons with the 2005-06 school year since revenue from the past two years were skewed due to the construction project.

Compared to 2005-06, revenue has declined by $14,719, but expenditures dropped by $18,907. Deficit spending remained at about the same level while personnel-related costs fell by $115,446.

Due to voter renewal of a seven-mill levy in 2007, along with some remaining funds from the cash settlement for contamination at the old school property, the fund balance shows a half million dollar increase, standing at $1.5 million.

“It doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet, Griggs said, “but we’re in better shape to handle what comes from the state.”

Additional reductions in state funding are expected. Revenue decline is also expected because of the state tangible tax phase out, lower enrollment and potential income tax reduction due to general economic conditions.

MEAL PLUS—Parents will have the option of paying an annual $10 fee to join Meals Plus. This allows cafeteria payments to be made via the internet. For an additional fee, parents can view what their children ordered at the cafeteria.

HIRING—Following the resignation of Beth Morr last month, elementary school teacher Brad Raby will be rehired for the 2009-10 school year. Raby was among the staff members to receive lay-off notices earlier this year.

BOARD SEATS—The terms of office for Paula Schaffner and Deb Leininger expire this year. Candidates have until Aug. 20 to file petitions. Two district residents will be elected to four-year terms in November.

  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017