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Significant salary gap remains in school negotiations

Salary remains a significant issue in negotiations between the Morris Area School District and its teachers union.

School board chair and negotiations committee member Kurt Gartland updated the board on negotiations at its regular meeting Monday.

The school district is proposing a salary freeze for 2010 and 2011. Teachers are seeking a 4.5 percent hike for each year of the two-year contract.

The negotiators for the district and the Morris Teachers Association are scheduled to meet again on Monday, Nov. 30.

Among several other issues being negotiated, the MTA's compensation proposals include a district-paid health insurance increase of $1,000 per year to $6,000 per year, and increase the maximum years for career incremental pay from six years to 10 years. The MTA also wants three teachers grandfathered into career incremental pay without limits, and the addition of a Business Professionals of America position to the extra-curricular schedule.

In addition to the salary freeze, the district is proposing no change in health care insurance.

The district also is proposing no step increases for 2009-2010, and 2010-2011 step increases would be paid as a one-time payment off the salary schedule, Gartland stated.

Lane changes would be given for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.

MTA members also are seeking issues regarding family illness leaves, college classes taught in the high school, a sick leave bank and prep time.

The district is offering proposals regarding overload pay, college course instructor pay, and increases for elementary teachers managing larger class sizes.

Both sides are addressing possible zero-hour or eighth-hour scheduling.