The Ketchikan School Board on Wednesday ratified a three-year union contract with district teachers, and appointed Susan Pickrell to fill a vacant board seat.
The contract passed 5-1 with Pickrell voting no. Board Member Roseanne Lynch was absent.
There was no discussion about the contract during Wednesday’s meeting. On Thursday, Pickrell gave a reason for her vote. She said she didn’t have a specific objection to any part of the negotiated agreement.
“ Mainly because I wasn’t involved in the executive sessions regarding discussions on the contract itself,” she said. “To me, that’s a really important vote for the community, and because I wasn’t a part of the discussions and had very, very limited information regarding the reasoning behind the offer that they were making. I chose not to vote (for) it. I couldn’t abstain, and my obligation is to vote as a board member. I just didn’t feel that I could vote for something that I hadn’t been a part of the discussion, or had too limited information to make an informed decision.”
The three-year contract, which Ketchikan Education Association members also have ratified, is retroactive to the 2011-2012 school year. It includes no raises the first year; a $1,100 raise for each level in the salary scale next year; and a $1,400 raise for each level the third year.
For the first year, the district’s health insurance contribution will be $9,806 annually per teacher. That will increase 15 percent the second year and 7 percent the third year. The district also will contribute a $50,000 lump sum to the health-insurance pool, with an additional $50,000 if this year’s budget has more than $415,000 in carry-over funds.
District Business Manager Matthew Groves said that compared to the previous contract, the new contract will cost the district $445,000 next year, with an additional $367,000 the third year.
NEW BOARD MEMBER
Pickrell, who has served previously on the School Board, was one of two candidates for the empty seat.
Pickrell and Shona Hosley were interviewed by the board before the meeting. The board then voted 4-1 to appoint Pickrell. Board Member Dave Timmerman voted no without elaborating.
A third candidate, Diane Gubatayao, pulled her name from the list before Wednesday’s meeting.
Pickrell said she’s pleased to serve on the board.
“I appreciate the School Board selecting me to serve on the board,” she said. “I realize this is an interim position, but I think it’s important for people to get involved in public service and our school district certainly needs some good leadership, and I believe with my experience I can offer that and be a good board member.”
The position became vacant when John Harrington resigned last month. Pickrell will serve as an appointed member for about four months, and the seat will be on the October ballot.
Also on Wednesday, the board approved contracts for new Ketchikan Charter School Principal Robert Marshall, Fawn Mountain special education teacher Debbie Christensen, and Ketchikan High School/ Schoenbar Middle School English as a Second Language teacher Tracie Sleeper.
The board also recognized retiring teachers Nancy Boatwright, Mary Ann Christensen, Sharon Clepper, Michelle Dyakanoff, Gwen McDonald, Cheryl Neuhart, Norm Noggle, Bruce White, Bob Hewitt, Doug Gregg, Doug Nausid and Barb Roberts; and retiring classified employees Susan Carson, Jarle Michalsen, Dennis Weis, Marsha Wilson and Alan Bolima.
The board scheduled its annual retreat for 5:30 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Kayhi library.
Board President Ginny Clay said the retreat will focus on planning.
“ There’s some pretty basic things we want to talk about,” she said “We want to talk about our agenda, we want to talk about our goals, and I really did like the suggestion of those long-term goals. I think some of our goals are long-term, but being a little more specific in the long-termness of our goals.”
The board canceled its second meeting in June, and scheduled a single regular meeting for next month on July 18.