'Proud of the job these folks do': Belleville 118 teachers get raises

News-DemocratAugust 20, 2013 

Belleville School District 118 Superintendent Matt Klosterman.

ZIA NIZAMI/BND

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Employees of Belleville District 118 will be getting higher paychecks this school year following the school board's approval of raises during its meeting Tuesday night.

Board members unanimously approved adjusting the contracts for its four union groups. This school year the district's 237 teachers will receive a full salary step increase based on their years of service to the district as opposed to the half step, which the contract previously outlined, according to Superintendent Matt Klosterman.

"We are extremely proud of the job these folks do," Klosterman said after the board meeting. "It's not an easy job."

The teachers, members of Local 6600 of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, are on the second year of their three-year contract. Klosterman said a full salary step remains in place for next school year.

Assistant Superintendent Ryan Boike said the district's 30 custodians and maintenance staff members will receive an additional $100 per year, and the district's 11 school building administrative assistants will receive a full salary step this school year.

The district's 78 para professionals will receive an additional 10-cent bump in their hourly pay this school year on top of the 20-cent increase already in their contract for a total of 30 cents per hour more, according to Boike. Para professionals typically work six and a half hours per day, Klosterman said.

The school board also approved a 15 to 20 cent per hour increase for the district's hourly employees not covered by a union contract.

The district's 11 school building principals will also move a salary step this school year and next, according to Klosterman. He explained principals' salaries had been frozen the last two years. The district's two deans of students -- Jon Bounte at West Junior High and Madonna Harris at Central Junior High -- will receive a 2.4 percent increase in their salary as well.

The district's three top administrators weren't left out of the mix as the board approved a 2.2 percent salary increase for Klosterman, Boike and Assistant Superintendent Lynn Clapp.

The district received an unexpected payment of $780,000 from the state in June that it was not anticipating. Only a "small part" of that payment is needed to cover the salary adjustments, Boike said.

In other news, the school board approved three new teachers: Andria Harrison, a learning disabilities teacher at Westhaven; Caitlin Hines, a sixth-grade teacher at Henry Raab; and Maggie Dierkes, a reading specialist teacher for Douglas and Jefferson elementary schools. The board also hired back 12 para professionals, who previously worked for the district, and hired nine new para professionals for this school year.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or jforsythe1@bnd.com.

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