Tuesday, July 16, 2024

K-M, School Board agree on teacher contract

Kasson-Mantorville Education Minnesota and the K-M School Board have reached agreement on a contract for the next two school years. The two sides reached a tentative agreement on January 18 with the teachers approving the contract last Tuesday and the School Board giving its approval on Wednesday.

K-M teachers had been working without a contract since the previous one expired on July 1, 2023. The process had been long and difficult with teachers holding a negotiations rally in December after a daylong negotiation session. At that time, a major sticking point in the discussions had been the cost of health insurance.

According to information provided by the district the new contract includes:

Competitive Salary Packages: The contract outlines competitive and equitable salary packages that reflect the loyalty and hard work of our teaching staff.

Increased contributions to single and family health insurance plans.

Enhanced longevity pay to recognize and compensate our devoted educators with years of service.

Added dollars to coaching and activity advisor pay.

At a special School Board meeting last Wednesday afternoon, Board Chair Kent Harfmann said that the contract included an average salary increase of 10.28 percent over the two years and an increase in the amount the district will contribute to health insurance.

Board approval was unanimous with board members Amy Olson and Kate Ryan unable to attend. Both provided statements of support for the agreement.

Union members also supported the agreement by a large margin.

“The newly approved contract reflects the commitment of both parties to cultivate a positive working relationship, ensuring fair compensation, and recognizing the invaluable contributions of our educators to the success of our students,” according to a school district statement.

“This milestone achievement reinforces the collective teamwork and mutual dedication to providing the best possible education for the students of Kasson-Mantorville Schools. Both the school district and the teachers’ union recognize the importance of a fair and balanced agreement that prioritizes the needs of students while respecting the contributions of our educators.

“We are thrilled to announce the approval of the new teacher contract, a testament to the collaborative spirit and shared responsibility of the school district and the teachers’ union to provide the best possible education for our students. This agreement reflects our commitment to excellence in fostering a positive working environment and recognizing the invaluable contributions of our educators,” said Board Chair Kent Harfmann.

At the board meeting, Harfmann said that during the negotiation process the district wanted to make sure that the amount would not lead to a deficit in funding.

“We believe we will be able to add to the General Fund based on what we know now,” he said.

In a post on their Facebook page, Kasson-Mantorville Education Minnesota said after board approval, “Kasson-Mantorville Tentative Agreement is approved. We have a ratified contract. Thank you, KMEM, district leadership, KM school board, and all parties involved.

With the contract with the teachers resolved the district now turns its attention to hiring a new superintendent.

A special School Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 13 at 4 p.m. to determine the finalists. On Thursday, February 15, and Friday, February 16, the board will hold the first round of superintendent interviews. Both of those interview sessions will be at 4 p.m. in the High School Community Forum Room.

Final interviews will be held on Wednesday, February 28, at 4 p.m. with a special meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, March 4, to approve a contract for the new superintendent.


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