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Helmut Schmidt, Published June 11 2013

Fargo School Board OKs 2-year teacher contract

FARGO – The Fargo School Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a two-year contract for the district’s teachers that includes a total salary increase of 4.1 percent for 2013-14 and 4.55 percent in 2014-15.

The Fargo Education Association had already approved the contract.

For 2013-14, the contract adds $350 to the base salary for teachers, plus $900 for each cell of the salary matrix, which takes into account teacher seniority and education levels. The lowest-paid teacher will get $38,045 a year, and the highest-paid teacher $72,961 per year.

In 2014-15 $1,245 will be added to the base pay of teachers, plus $900 to each cell in the matrix. The lowest-paid teacher will get $39,290, and the highest-paid will get $75,377.

The contract also lays out how a mediation panel will be formed to resolve impasses, and adds a level in the contract grievance process to allow nonbinding arbitration.

In other business, the board:

E Approved spending $682,996 to modify the exhaust systems of school power generators. The changes are required by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The work also includes installing devices for centralized control of the generators.

Without the changes, the district can’t be in off-peak energy programs offered by Cass County Electric and Xcel Energy, Business Manager Broc Lietz said.

The district gets a 29 percent discount on power through the Cass County program alone, he said.

E Accepted $62,500 in general construction and mechanical bids to reconfigure space in the Agassiz building for the Early Childhood Special Education program.

That’s far below the $200,000 to $300,000 estimate for the work. Lietz said changes to the project cut costs and some work, including the electrical changes, will be done by district staff.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583