District 201 approves raises for administrative assistants

News-DemocratSeptember 16, 2013 

Belleville School District 201 school board unanimously approved a new two-year contract with the district's administrative assistants at its meeting Monday night.

On average, the district's administrative assistants will receive a 2 percent increase this school year and next, according to Assistant Superintendent Brian Mentzer said.

Superintendent Jeff Dosier said the salary adjustment is similar to what the district gave to other employee groups.

At its meeting last month, the school board approved contracts with teachers, custodians, engineers and teacher aides. This year, the contracts call for a partial step increase for teachers; a 2 percent salary increase for custodians and operating engineers; and a 1.5 percent pay increase for teacher assistants.

The new collective bargaining agreement with the Administrative Assistants Council will impact roughly 30 employees.

In other business, board members unanimously approved the district's fiscal year 2014 budget. "I think we are in good shape," Mentzer said. "We have taken a conservative approach."

The district has $55.5 million budgeted for expenditures and $56 million budgeted for revenues, according to Mentzer.

The board also voted to accept the fiscal year 2013 audit performed by Rice, Sullivan and Company. Mentzer described the audit as "positive."

He said the district was able to improve it's financial score by three-tenths of a point, which removed the district from the state's financial watchlist. The district's financial score is now 3.25 -- up from 2.95.

Dosier discussed the district's technology needs with school board members. The state of Illinois is moving toward an entirely online student assessment format by next school year.

"We are keeping a close eye on that," he said. "We're going to have to purchase a few more computers to make that happen."

Dosier plans to present a technology upgrade plan to the board at its meeting next month.

Monday night's school board meeting marked the last meeting District 201 will have at its current administrative offices located at Lindenwood University.

Earlier this summer, the district purchased the former Dickerson Petroleum headquarters located at 920 N. Illinois St. for $474,000. The building was renovated by district maintenance staff, and administrative employees will start moving into the new space the end of this week.

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

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